Dentures vs. Dental Implants: Which is Right for You?

About 12 million adults in the United States are missing all the teeth on either their upper or lower jaw, while another 23 million Americans are missing all the teeth on both their upper and lower arches. An astounding 120 million are missing one or more teeth.

If you are one of them, you may be considering tooth replacements, but are wondering about the various types of false teeth. You may be glad to know that there are several options now available for patients at Las Cruces Dental Solutions.  

Dental Implants are Growing in Popularity

About 90% of those who are missing all of their teeth have dentures. Each year, about 15 percent of those with missing teeth have dentures made. Many of them are getting dentures for the first time, while others are replacing dentures that have broken or worn out.  

Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth. They can be complete or partial, with complete dentures replacing the entire arch of upper or lower teeth and partial dentures replacing just a few teeth. Typically made from a type of plastic known as acrylic resin, dentures are a relatively inexpensive and convenient way to replace missing teeth.  

Dentures are popular, but a growing number of people are choosing dental implants

Many people are turning to dental implants to replace their missing teeth. In just 2019 alone, for example, U.S. dentists placed more than 3 million dental implants. Professionals expect that number to grow drastically as the population ages, researchers make advances in dental implant technology, and patients become more aware of the advantages dental implants have over dentures.  

Dental implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth. A dental implant is a metal post that your dentist places in your jaw. It holds a dental crown that looks and functions like a natural tooth.

Comparing Dentures and Dental Implants

Types of dentures and dental implants

There are several types of false teeth. Each has its own benefits, depending on your needs and the number of teeth you are missing.  

Partial dentures can replace several missing teeth, while a complete denture replaces all of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw.  

Denture teeth may be made from acrylic or porcelain, and the base may be made from acrylic or metal. Acrylic dentures are the most popular because they are comfortable and easy to adjust.  

Dental implants often hold just one dental crown, but can hold more. In fact, all-on-four dentures replace the entire arch of teeth with just four implants.

The procedure

Getting dentures is relatively straightforward. Your dentist will make impressions of your gums and remaining teeth then send these molds to a laboratory, where technicians will make your denture. When your denture is ready, you’ll return to your dentist for a fitting.  

Getting dental implants is more complicated. After administering local anesthesia and some form of sedation, your dentist will place the metal post (or posts) into your jaw and put a temporary crown on top of it. As you heal, your jawbone will fuse with the metal post in a process known as osseointegration. When osseointegration is complete, usually within a few months, you’ll come back in for your permanent crown.

Time to smile

Dentures are a quicker solution to missing teeth, especially if your dentist uses sophisticated software and milling machines to create 3D printed dentures in a single day.  

Dental implants are a permanent solution

While getting dental implants takes longer than getting dentures, dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth with proper care because osseointegration creates a strong anchor just like a natural tooth root.

Easy care

Taking care of dentures can require extra work, as you’ll need to rinse, brush, and soak them every day. Dental implants are easier to care for – just brush and floss as normal.

Preserves jawbone

Biting and chewing food causes pressure against your teeth. This pressure transfers down to the tooth root and into the jawbone, where it stimulates the production of new bone tissue. When you lose a tooth, you also lose this bone-building stimulation. This can weaken your jawbone enough to allow the nearby teeth to drift out of place or even fall out. Loss of bone density in your jawbone can also change the shape of your face.  

Dentures sit on top of your gums, so they do not stimulate bone regrowth. Dental implants, by comparison, act like tooth roots to transfer pressure to the jawbone to stimulate growth.  

Secure fit

Today’s dentures fit better than ever before. Still many people prefer dental implants because the teeth replacements never slip, slide, or fall out. What’s more, dental implants look and function like natural teeth.

If you are missing teeth and want more information on dentures and dental implants, connect with Las Cruces Dental Solutions. Our experienced and welcoming dental team look forward to meeting you!

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We look forward to meeting you. Please Call (575) 527-4746 or request an appointment online to set up your first visit. We’ll be in touch soon.

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