When the need to replace lost or damaged teeth arises, patients in Ontario have a few options, and two of the most popular are dentures and implants.
Why People Get Implants or Dentures
Implants and dentures both serve the same function: to replace missing teeth. They allow patients to chew food, they support facial muscles by restoring the natural jaw shape, they can improve speech, and many of our patients report feeling increased self-esteem and reduced negative feelings about their appearance.
Why Choose One Option Over the Other
Since they have the same end goals, other factors will determine which of the two options is best for you. These include price, preference, and the health of your jawbone and remaining teeth.
Advantages of Implants
One major advantage of implants is that they do not require much special maintenance. Caring for your implant(s) entails regular dental care; brushing at least twice a day and daily flossing will keep your implant clean alongside your remaining natural teeth. Another advantage is that dental implants are a more permanent solution, and so patients in their 60's and younger may prefer implants as they can provide decades of service (provided they are well cared for).
Some find that dental implants provide better chewing and comfort than dentures do.
Disadvantages of Implants
Implants are generally more expensive than dentures, which can be a reason why patients decide against them in favour of dentures. Another issue is that implants require a certain bone density to be affixed to a patient's jaw, and so if you have previously suffered from bone loss, they may be a poor fit for your needs.
Implants are also potentially subject to a number of health complications including infection and mechanical problems, such as loose posts or cracked crowns.
Advantages of Dentures
The most immediate appeal of dentures, when contrasted with implants, is that they tend to be more affordable. They also work much better for individuals who've suffered bone loss in their jaw, and for those who are not interested in the more invasive treatments and procedures required to install a dental implant.
For these reasons, some patients are more likely to prefer dentures to implants.
Disadvantages of Dentures
Dentures are less permanent than implants and are removable. Dentures also require special maintenance to keep clean. In order to clean dentures (which should be done daily), they need to be removed after eating and brushed. You may also need to brush away any bits of adhesive that are lingering on your gums. Furthermore, you shouldn’t wear your dentures overnight. Dentures should be soaked in water or a special cleaning solution while you sleep.
Another thing to be aware of is that your mouth changes over time. Your dentist will have to periodically refit your dentures to accommodate for this. Implants are permanent, and will typically not require this.
Dentures vs Dental Implants - The Final Verdict
Ultimately, there are good reasons to choose both implants and dentures – it all depends on your personal situation. We recommend speaking with your dentist, who can help you make the choice that is best for you.