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Dental Implants vs. Dentures: Pros and Cons

Mar 11, 2024
Dental Implants vs. Dentures: Pros and Cons

Losing teeth isn't just a problem for your mouth; it can affect your health and confidence, too. If you're missing teeth, don't feel embarrassed. It happens to a lot of people, not just older people but younger ones, too. In fact, around 70% of adults between 35 and 44 have lost at least one tooth, and 1 in 4 people over 74 have lost them all.

Not sure whether dentures or dental implants are the right choice for you? You're in good hands. We know how tough it can be to feel confident smiling, eating, and speaking after losing teeth. That's why our dentists at Glendale Heights Family Dental provide both dentures and dental implants. Keep reading to discover the advantages and disadvantages of each option for replacing missing teeth.

Dental Implants: An In-Depth Look

Dental implants are essentially artificial tooth roots made of biocompatible titanium. They are surgically placed into your jawbone to provide a sturdy foundation for replacement teeth. Once implanted, these titanium roots fuse with your jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This integration creates a stable base for attaching custom-made crowns or bridges, mimicking the look and function of natural teeth.

There are various types of dental implants tailored to meet different needs:

  • Endosteal implants: Placed directly into the jawbone.
  • Subperiosteal implants: Placed on top of the jawbone, beneath the gum tissue.
  • All-on-4 implants: A specialized technique for restoring an entire arch of teeth with just four implants.

While dental implants offer remarkable benefits, not everyone is a suitable candidate. Ideal candidates typically have:

  • Sufficient jawbone density to support the implants.
  • Good oral health and hygiene habits.
  • Commitment to follow post-operative care instructions.

The Process of Getting Dental Implants at Glendale Heights Family Dental

First Visit: It all begins with a chat with our dentist or oral surgeon. They'll take a good look at your mouth and talk to you about what you want to achieve. Together, we will devise a plan that's just right for you.

Preparing Your Jaw: Sometimes, your jawbone needs a little help to get ready for implants. This might involve the extraction of a tooth or doing a bone graft to make sure your jaw is strong enough to support the implants. Don't worry; our dentist will explain everything and make sure you're comfortable.

Implant Surgery: When it's time for the surgery, you'll be given anesthetic to keep you comfortable. Our dentist will gently open your gum and put the implants into your jawbone. It sounds scarier than it is – most people say it's not too bad!

Osseointegration: After the implants are put in place, they start to merge with your jawbone. It's a natural process called osseointegration, where the implants become part of your jawbone.

Abutment Placement: Once your jawbone and implants are fused, it's time for the abutments. These are little connectors that stick out from your gums and hold your new teeth in place.

Getting Your New Teeth: Last but not least, it's time for the grand finale – your new teeth! Our dentist will attach custom-made crowns, bridges, or dentures to the abutments. They're designed to look and feel just like your natural teeth, so you'll be smiling with confidence in no time.

Understanding Dentures

Dentures are custom-made prosthetic devices designed to replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They're not just about aesthetics; they play a crucial role in restoring functionality to your mouth. Whether you're missing a few teeth or need a full replacement, dentures can help you chew, speak, and smile with confidence.

Types of Dentures

Complete Dentures: Complete dentures are used when all teeth are missing in either the upper or lower jaw. They're custom-fitted to your mouth and rest on your gums, providing a natural-looking replacement for your missing teeth.

Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are ideal for individuals who still have some natural teeth remaining. They consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored base, which is often connected by a metal framework. Partial dentures not only fill in the gaps left by missing teeth but also prevent your remaining teeth from shifting out of place.

Implant-Supported Dentures: If you're looking for a more stable and permanent solution, implant-supported dentures may be the answer. These dentures are anchored in place by dental implants surgically placed in your jawbone. Not only do they provide superior stability, but they also help preserve your jawbone and prevent further bone loss.

The Process of Getting Dentures at Glendale Heights Family Dental

Step 1: The process of getting dentures kicks off with your first visit to our dentist at Glendale Heights Family Dental. Here, our dentist will examine your mouth, discuss with you your options, and hear out any worries or questions you might have. It's also a good chance for you to let them know what you're hoping to achieve with your new dentures.

Step 2: Next up is a thorough examination of your mouth. This might involve X-rays, impressions, and measurements to make sure your dentures fit just right.

Step 3: If there are any remaining natural teeth that need to be extracted before your dentures can go in, our dentist will handle that as part of the plan. It's important to make sure your dentures fit well and work properly.

Step 4: Once your mouth is all prepped, it's time to get those impressions and measurements taken. This info gets sent off to a lab where skilled technicians craft your custom dentures using materials that look and feel like natural teeth and gums.

Step 5: When your dentures are ready, you'll return to Glendale Heights Family Dental for a fitting. We will make sure the dentures fit snugly and comfortably in your mouth. If any tweaks are needed for the perfect fit or bite, we will take care of that, too.

Step 6: After you've got your dentures, it's important to stick to those follow-up appointments. We will make any necessary adjustments and give you instructions on how to properly care for and clean your dentures so they stay in good shape for as long as possible.

Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

  • Dental implants are designed to be a long-term solution for tooth loss. With proper care, they can last a lifetime, making them a durable and cost-effective option in the long run.
  • Because dental implants are anchored directly to the jawbone, they look and feel just like natural teeth. They provide a strong, stable bite, allowing you to eat and speak with confidence.
  • Implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss and preserving facial structure. This helps maintain a youthful appearance and prevents the sunken-in look that can occur with dentures over time.
  • The process of getting dental implants typically takes several months and involves multiple appointments. This can be a drawback for patients looking for a faster tooth replacement option.
  • Dental implants tend to be more expensive upfront compared to dentures. However, many patients find that the long-term benefits justify the initial investment.

Pros and Cons of Dentures

  • Unlike dental implants, dentures do not require surgery for placement. They are a non-invasive option for patients who may not be good candidates for surgery.
  • Dentures can be fabricated and fitted in a relatively short amount of time, making them a convenient option for patients who want to restore their smile quickly.
  • Dentures might not always stay in place as securely as dental implants. Some people find they slip or feel uncomfortable, especially when eating or talking.
  • Dentures might not provide the same biting power as implants, especially for tougher foods. So, you might need to be a bit more careful about what you eat.
  • Dentures don't provide the same level of stimulation to your jawbone as implants do. Without that stimulation, your jawbone can start to shrink over time, which might mean you need adjustments or replacements down the line.

Whether you're interested in the permanence of dental implants or the versatility of dentures, taking action to address tooth loss can have a significant impact on your oral health and overall well-being. Schedule a consultation with Glendale Heights Family Dental today to explore your options.

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