Many people experience tooth loss as they age, whether due to an accident, tooth decay, gum disease, or dental fractures. In fact, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, nearly 70% of adults ages 35-44 in the United States are missing at least one tooth.
But there’s no need to go through life with missing teeth. These days, there are many good options for replacing teeth, including two of the most popular: dentures and implants. If you’re considering either of these treatments—and wondering which might be right for you—the following pros and cons of dentures vs implants can help guide you to your best choice.
If you’re missing teeth, and your gums and jaw are healthy, you may be an ideal candidate for dental implants. Implants are replacement teeth, surgically implanted into the jawbone.
Unlike dentures, implants feel and function like natural teeth. They won’t slip or move, and don’t require special cleaning or use of adhesives. In fact, you can care for implants just like you would natural teeth.
In addition, implants help restore chewing capacity, and can even preserve bone in the jaw, helping to maintain facial structure.
With good oral hygiene, implants can last 25 years or more, making them an effective, long-term solution to tooth loss. Implants are a popular choice for those missing only one or two teeth, but can also be a viable option if you have several teeth missing.
And while dental implants do have a higher upfront cost than dentures, keep in mind that dentures come with additional costs over time (cleaning solutions, adhesives, repairs, and denture replacement).
Dentures are one of the primary alternatives to dental implants. Dentures are false teeth, held in place with a denture adhesive or paste. Without this adhesive, dentures can slip out of place while speaking or eating, which can be embarrassing. The ability to chew is also diminished.
Partial dentures are also available, but can cause decay and infection in adjoining teeth if they aren’t fitted properly.
While dentures aren’t right for everyone, they may be the best choice for people with an unhealthy or weak jaw or gums. In addition, over the years, the quality and appearance of dentures have improved, so false teeth look more natural than they once did.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of dentures is that they are relatively inexpensive. Compared to dental implants, upfront costs are certainly lower—but it is worth noting that dentures have to be replaced when they lose their fit, typically every 5-8 years.
If you’re considering replacing lost teeth, or have any questions about dental implants vs dentures, don’t hesitate to contact us at Cottonwood Dental. Dr. Giaquinto can help you choose the best option to restore your smile and improve your dental—and overall—health.