Dentures vs. Dental Implants
Dentures and dental implants are two possible solutions that help patients replace missing teeth. Each option has pros and cons, and Desert Ridge Dental will explain these to you if you decide to move forward after an examination. Here’s a closer look at dentures and dental implants and what they entail, if you’re considering replacement teeth to restore your smile.
Dentures are a prosthetic set of teeth that can be removed at any time. A partial denture can be used to replace a set of missing teeth, or a full denture can be used to replace an entire row of teeth. Implants require a certain amount of bone structure in the patient’s jaw, but dentures can work for any patient regardless of bone structure.
The process for dentures involves first making an impression of the upper or lower gums (or both). Your dentist then examines the alignment of your jaws to create dentures that are the correct length for optimal chewing. Once that is determined, a preliminary set of dentures is fashioned in a lab setting.
Once that set of dentures arrives, they will be fitted to your mouth in a follow-up appointment. Any last adjustments can then be made before a final set of dentures is created for you.
- Supports facial muscles
- Improved speech due to full set of teeth
- Improved chewing to enjoy meals
- Can be removed for cleaning
- Can slip or fall out during awkward moments
- More daily maintenance than implants
- Sore gums can result from improper fitting
Dental implants require more bone structure in the jaw in order to be used. An implant post is installed in the jawbone and then a crown (artificial tooth) is attached to the post. This method can be used to replace a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth.
If the patient does not have enough jawbone structure to support an implant post, a bone grafting procedure can be performed to provide adequate structure. To place an implant, a damaged tooth root must first be extracted. A hole is then drilled into the jawbone where the tooth root was removed.
The implant post is then installed in the hole. The gums then need time to heal and graft themselves to the post. After that happens, a crown is used to cap off the post. Any crowns used for dental implants are color-matched with the patient’s remaining natural teeth.
The only maintenance needed for dental implants is standard daily oral care like brushing and flossing. If properly cared for, implants could last for the rest of the patient’s life.
- Semi-permanent solution to missing teeth
- Perfectly matches natural teeth
- No removal necessary for routine daily care
- Crowns can crack or slip loose
- Can require dental bone grafting first
- Slightly more expensive than dentures
Desert Ridge Dental provides both dentures and dental implants to patients on a regular basis. If you have missing teeth and would like to restore your smile, call our office today at 505-890-3000 to schedule an appointment and consultation.