What is the difference between Dental Implants and Dentures?
Losing any of your permanent teeth can feel like a huge deal. While continuing to live without teeth can have a major impact on your quality of life, getting those teeth replaced can be a simple process. When you are looking at your tooth replacement options, two possibilities come up more frequently than any other: dental implants or dentures.
These two options are both very popular and are better than choosing to simply live without those teeth. However, there are some big differences between the two that you should understand when making your decision.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are surgically implanted replacement teeth. They utilize a two-part system to be complete. The first is a titanium post that looks like a small screw. This post is placed into the bone underneath your gums, and the top protrudes slightly above your gums. Then an implant crown is attached to the top of the post.
The crown looks feels and acts just like your natural teeth. In fact, implants look so realistic that most people cannot tell that they are not your biological teeth. In addition, because you do not take them out or have any special care routine other than normal oral hygiene, you may forget they aren’t your biological teeth too!
There are several different types of dental implants, so you can replace a single tooth, a section of teeth, or even all of your teeth depending on your needs.
Advances in dental sciences have made huge improvements to dentures over the last few decades. They generally fit better, last longer, and even look more natural than they previously had. Dentures are made of a single piece of material that fits over the top of your gums and is held in place by adjustments and adhesives.
The lower portion of the denture looks like your gums, and the upper part looks like your natural teeth. This helps to disguise them throughout your daily routine. At night, you remove the dentures, and they are placed in a specific type of solution to clean and disinfect them for use again the next day.
Looking at Differences
While both dentures and dental implants are designed to replace the look and function of your natural teeth, dental implants are more commonly recommended by dentists for most of their patients. There are a few reasons for suggesting them.
First, dental implants are surgically implanted, so they do not move around and slip on your gums. Even minor slippage can cause irritation, cuts, and infection in your gum tissue. Additionally, because dental implants do not slip and stay in your mouth, patients do not have to worry about them falling out at the wrong moment.
Second, dental implants are anchored into the bone underneath the gums. When you lose your natural teeth, the roots of the teeth also come out. Your body quickly recognizes that this bone is no longer needed, and a process called resorption begins. Resorption is basically when your body stops supporting and removes the unnecessary bone. This can lead to lower bone density and even facial deformation. Dental implants not only help to stop resorption but actually reverse it.
There is a special coating on the titanium post that promotes new bone growth. This means your jaw actually gets stronger when dental implants are used.
Another benefit of dental implants is that they do not require the purchase or use of special cleaners or adhesives. Instead, follow your normal dental routine, and your implants will continue to look like part of your natural smile without additional work!