By the age of 44, 69% of Americans have lost at least one adult tooth. Once they reach their 50th birthday, the average American has lost 12 teeth.
Tooth loss is common as we age, but it can occur at any stage of life. Cavities, accidents, gum disease, and other issues can lead to the loss of teeth.
Missing a tooth—or several—can be embarrassing. Not only that, but it can limit oral functioning (such as chewing) and make the mouth more vulnerable to infection.
Dentures and implants are two options for replacing lost teeth, each offering their own pros and cons. Read on to learn the differences between a denture vs implant and how to choose the best one for you.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are sets of false teeth that usually replace multiple missing teeth. Rather than filling in only one or two gaps, dentures cover a significant portion of the mouth. They come in either full or partial sets.
Dentures are easily removable. In fact, they require regular removal for cleaning and maintenance.
They’re also relatively affordable. But many who wear dentures find that, with time, they need to replace their dentures, especially as the mouth and jaw change with age.
Because dentures are removable and somewhat large, it can be difficult to find a perfect fit in the mouth. Some struggle with having their dentures move and fall out, such as when they talk. That’s why you must find dentists specializing in dentures to get the best fit and style for you.
What Are Implants?
Unlike dentures, implants replace individual teeth. High-quality implants blend in with the other teeth in the mouth, creating a natural appearance.
However, getting implants can be an extensive process. These false teeth must be screwed into bone to remain in place, so patients must have a strong jawbone in order to get implants.
If you’re a good candidate, your dentist will insert a rod into the jawbone. Then, your bone will grow around the rod over the course of several weeks. Once the bone has formed, the tooth-like crown can be inserted and screwed into place.
Denture vs Implant: Key Differences
Dentures and implants are both great options for tooth loss, though there are some differences between the two.
Dentures and implants are both an investment.
However, dentures tend to be much cheaper than implants. Keep in mind, though, that dentures may need to be replaced more frequently. If you follow the implants tips provided by your dentist, your implants may last 20 or more years.
Dentures may require adjustments to get the proper fit. Still, it often only takes about four visits to the dentist to get your dentures.
From start to finish, getting implants takes around two months because the jawbone must form around the implant rod. Also, keep in mind that up to 10% of dental implants fail.
Dentures require regular maintenance, including daily cleanings and removing them to soak during sleep. They can also feel awkward at first, which might interfere with speech and eating.
Implants, on the other hand, are unlikely to interfere with daily life.
Choosing Between Dentures and Implants
If you’re dealing with tooth loss, there are solutions to replace your teeth. Visit your dentist to help you decide between a denture vs implant.
For more health advice, check out our other health articles!