Dentures vs. Implants: Which One’s The Best?

dental implant anatomy

When it comes to finding a replacement for missing teeth, many people get confused between dentures for teeth and implants. The main purpose of both these restorations is the same: restore an aesthetically pleasing smile and function for easy eating and speaking. 

However, there are some differences between the two that you need to know about before you decide on either of these treatments. 

Differences Between Dentures & Implants

Here’s what you need to know about dentures and dental implants: 

Procedure 

One of the biggest differences between implants and dentures is that of the procedure. And it’s a big reason why some people choose one over the other. 

When it comes to implants, the dentist drills a hole into the jawbone to place a metal screw in it (which acts as a tooth root). Once this metal fuses with the jawbone (which takes 3-6 months), a crown is placed on top of it. 

Keep in mind that for dental implants, you need to have sufficient jawbone so that the metal post can anchor into it. Otherwise, you might end up needing an additional procedure like bone grafting. 

Dentures, on the other hand, do not require any invasive surgery. All your dentist needs to do is take an impression of your upper and/or lower jaw, send it to the lab, and wait for the dentures to come back. 

Once your dentist has them, they’ll check how it fits and if your bite is normal. If needed, they’ll make necessary adjustments to it. And so for this reason, dentures have no downtime. 

dental prosthetics

Stability 

Since dental implants are integrated with the jawbone, they don’t have an issue with stability. Implants don’t move or become loose once they’re fixed into place. 

However, this is where dentures differ. These restorations can slip or fall out when you’re eating or speaking. This can, of course, be embarrassing for you, especially in social situations. 

The reason why this happens is that dentures don’t prevent the shrinking of the underlying jawbone. As the size of the bone changes and gets smaller, the dentures become looser and looser, and so they fall out more easily.  

Maintenance 

Dental implants are easier to maintain than dentures. You only need to care for them just like you would for your natural teeth. 

With dentures, maintenance can be slightly more of a hassle. For instance, you have to take these false teeth out at night and soak them in a solution. Moreover, you need to clean them twice a day after every meal. 

Also, once dentures become loose, you can’t just keep on wearing them. You need to get their size adjusted, for which you’ll need to visit your dentist. 

Longevity 

Dental implants are permanent, provided you take care of your oral health and there’s no dental implant failure. Although the crown fitted on top of the implant might need to be replaced if it’s worn or cracked. 

Dentures do not last a lifetime. At best, they can last anywhere from 5-8 years. After that, you’ll have to get them replaced. 

Cost 

The cost is another major factor that drives the decision between implants and dentures. It goes without saying that dentures are far cheaper than implants. 

A full arch of dentures can cost you somewhere around $2,000. However, just 1 dental implant can cost you around $3,000. And the bill will be in the tens of thousands if you’re looking for full mouth restoration with dental implants. 

Dentures do not require invasive surgery, and dentures themselves are prostheses. The crowns come separately in implants and cost separately. 

Conclusion 

The choice between dentures and implants will depend on your needs. If you don’t want to undergo a costly, invasive procedure, dentures might be the better option for you. 

They’re also the better option if you have experienced significant jawbone loss and don’t want to spend extra on additional procedures like bone grafting. 

However, if you’re looking for something more permanent and natural-looking with low-maintenance, dental implants will be better for you. In any case though, you should consider consulting a dental professional.