Deciding Between Dental Implants and Dentures

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Losing a tooth or teeth is no fun, but thankfully there are lots of terrific replacement alternatives to consider in the categories of dentures and dental implants. Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center, a top-rated dentist serving Chicago and Deerfield, discusses both options and helps you decide which one is right for you.

Dentures – Background

Dentures are a versatile missing-tooth/teeth solution capable of replacing one tooth, several teeth, or an entire mouthful of teeth. The biggest difference between dentures and other tooth-replacement options is that dentures are removable, allowing you to clean them as needed and take them out before bed.

Dentures come in two main subcategories: partial dentures, which are used to replace one or several teeth and our held in place by the surrounding natural teeth and a set of clasps; and a full dentures, whose purpose is to replace a full set of teeth. Full dentures rest on the gum line, a process made easier with the inclusion of an acrylic base that closely resembles the gums. In the absence of other teeth to offer support, full dentures are bonded to the acrylic base via a strong adhesive.

Dental Implants – Background

Like dentures, dental implants have the flexibility to replace one tooth, several, or a full set. Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent. The fact that they’re permanent means that surgery is required, something that isn’t intrinsic to dentures. The surgery isn’t considered major by any means, but a local anesthetic is necessary for minimizing discomfort during the procedure and the healing process.

A typical dental implant procedure begins with our dentist placing the implant (consisting of a small titanium post) into your jawbone and then waiting a few weeks for the implant to “take”. Once this step is complete, we make an impression of your missing tooth/teeth and create the requisite number of crowns. The crown(s), which closely resembles a natural tooth, is affixed to the titanium post, which functions as an artificial root.

In an emergency situation, it is possible to get a dental implant in a one-day turnaround.

Deciding Between Dentures and Dental Implants

When deciding between dentures and dental implants, there are four main categories to consider. Let’s take a look at each one.

Function

There’s no doubt that both solutions help your mouth work better. However, dentures have a steeper “adjustment period” than implants, which function like normal teeth. With dentures, you’ll need to develop a cleaning routine and you may need to adjust your diet in order to avoid hard/sticky foods. Also, speech difficulties are common when learning to wear dentures.

Durability

The fact that dentures are removable makes them less sturdy than implants, and more prone to coming loose at some point.

Care/Comfort

Dental implants can be brushed and flossed just like natural teeth. On the other hand, dentures require a special cleaning routine that includes taking them out at night, and soaking them in water to ensure they don’t dry out.

Cost

Dentures cost considerably less than dental implants – though as we’ve seen above, dental implants are superior in quality and efficiency.

Our Dentists Offer Advice and Support

If you’re having trouble deciding between dentures and dental implants, no worries – our oral experts will offer all of the advice and support you need to make the right decision. Contact us today in Chicago or Deerfield, and let’s get started.

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