Last Updated on 6 months

Tooth loss is a common problem, not only for the elderly but also for young individuals. According to American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), nearly 70% of adults in the US aged around 35 to 44 years have at least one missing tooth, and 1 in 4 people over the age of 74 are missing all of their teeth.

The American College of Prosthodontists estimates that 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and 36 million are edentulous (completely toothless).

Fortunately, we have various options available today. For replacing one or more missing teeth, you have a couple of common choices – Denture vs Dental Implants.

Both dentures and implants basically do the same things. They help you chew food, keep your facial muscles in shape, improve how you speak, and boost your confidence by giving you a great smile.

The main difference between Dentures and Dental Implants is that dentures are removable prosthetic teeth, while dental implants are surgically implanted into the jawbone, offering a more permanent and stable solution.

But, deciding which one is the right option for you might be quite challenging for you as it depends on various factors. There might be thousands of questions buzzing around in your head like – What’s the difference between dentures and dental implants? How do I decide which one is the best restorative option?  And, which is right for you?

It’s important to have a detailed conversation about your choices with your dentist. And, our detailed guide will help you in grasping that much information on these two replacement options. So, let’s get started!

Why Replacing Missing Teeth is Important?

As we mentioned above, approximately 120 million Americans have missing teeth. Some people might choose to leave just those gaps in their smile rather than find a perfect tooth replacement solution. But, ignoring the problem is not the best idea.

When you don’t take care of a missing tooth, it can lead to some serious and long-lasting health problems that are not only painful but also costly. That’s why, you should pay attention to it.

Your jawbone plays a crucial role in supporting your teeth. But when you have a missing tooth, your bone no longer has much to do. A missing tooth causes the bone around it to atrophy and disintegrate. This process is known as “resorption of teeth” and leads to a sunken cheek appearance.

The worst part? The loss of bone is permanent, and it cannot be reversed.

But that’s not the only problem with missing teeth. Other dental issues can pop up, such as:

    • Your nearby teeth might start getting crooked and out of place.
    • Brushing and flossing become trickier.
    • You’re more likely to get cavities, gum disease, and even lose more teeth, which can lead to serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
    • Weaker teeth are prone to chips and cracks.
    • Eating, chewing, and speaking can become difficult.

So, as you can see, it’s really important to replace those missing teeth as soon as possible to avoid all these problems down the road.

Why Is Tooth Replacement For Missing Teeth Necessary?

Let’s start with the basics – What do you really need dental implants or dentures? It’s a smart question to ask before deciding on either of these options.

When you have missing teeth, it can affect your self-confidence. Even missing teeth can impact your health in ways you might not realize.

When your gums are exposed because of missing teeth, food, and bacteria easily get stuck in them. If you don’t remove these food bits and bacteria, they can lead to harmful infections. Infections can sometimes lead to gum disease, which has been linked to both heart disease and diabetes.

Missing teeth can also affect the structure of your jaw. The neighboring teeth might try to fill in the gap left by your missing tooth by shifting position. This shifting can set off a domino effect. As your teeth move, your jawbone can shift over time, making your mouth less stable. All of these changes can increase your risk of tooth decay and losing even more teeth.

Now that you know tooth replacement is necessary, how do you figure out which option is right for you?

Difference Between Dentures and Implants

Now that you understand why it’s important to replace missing teeth, let’s explore the options you have for replacement.

Denture

Dentures are like fake teeth that are designed to fit into the spaces where your natural teeth used to be. There are many types of dentures available:

      • Complete Dentures: These are used when you’ve lost all or most of your teeth.
      • Partial Dentures: These are used when you still have some healthy natural teeth left.
      • Custom Dentures: These dentures are tailored to your mouth’s unique shape, ensuring a natural fit and appearance.
      • Overdentures or Snap-In Dentures: These dentures use dental implants to snap securely into place, enhancing stability and chewing power. They can be easily removed for cleaning.
      • Implant-Supported Dentures: Dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone to firmly anchor dentures, offering superior stability and functionality.

Additionally, while conventional dentures are removable, there is also a hybrid option, which combines the use of a dental implant to create a permanent (non-removable) solution.

Forget about those floppy-looking dentures you might have seen in the past. Thanks to new technology, dentures today are custom-made to fit your mouth perfectly, and they look incredibly natural. Generally, dentures are:

      • Made from high-quality materials.
      • Customized to fit your mouth perfectly.
      • Designed to look just like your real teeth.
      • Meant to fully restore your ability to chew and speak comfortably.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are a fantastic option for replacing missing teeth, often considered the best choice today.

A dental implant is a tooth replacement option, which is surgically placed in your jawbone, just like the root of a natural tooth. After some healing time, it will be topped off with a restoration, which could be:

      • A dental crown
      • Part of a bridge (for replacing multiple teeth)
      • A complete or partial permanent denture

The great thing is that dental implants do an excellent job of restoring your smile back just as beautiful and natural as before. Dental implants are:

      • Made from a safe material called biocompatible titanium.
      • Really strong and lasts a long time.
      • Look just like your real teeth.
      • Helps you chew and speak well.
      • Strengthen your jawbone.
      • Promote healthy gums.

How to Make a Decision on Dentures vs Implants?

Making a decision between dentures and dental implants is an important step in addressing missing teeth.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed choice:

The Top Signs That You Should Get Dentures

Dental clinics mainly offer two types of dentures – partial and full dentures. Partial dentures are designed to fill gaps in your smile by attaching to your healthy teeth.

On the other hand, full dentures are a bit different. They require the removal of all your natural teeth and consist of a gum-colored base with a full set of artificial teeth. Full dentures can replace either the upper row, the lower row, or both sets of teeth.

Here are the top signs that may indicate you should consider getting dentures:

      • Multiple Missing Teeth: Dentures are a suitable option when you have several missing teeth and need a cost-effective way to replace them.
      • Poor Oral Health: If your remaining natural teeth are in poor condition and cannot be saved or restored, dentures can provide a functional and aesthetic solution.
      • Difficulty Chewing: Struggling to chew food properly due to missing teeth can be a sign that you need dentures. Dentures can help you regain your ability to eat comfortably.
      • Speech Difficulties: Missing teeth can affect your speech, making it difficult to pronounce words correctly. Dentures can help improve your speech clarity.
      • Gum Health Issues: If your gums are constantly sore or irritated due to missing teeth or ill-fitting dental appliances, dentures can provide relief by distributing the pressure evenly on your gums.
      • Desire for a Non-Invasive Option: Dentures are a non-invasive tooth replacement option that doesn’t require surgery, making them a preferable choice for some individuals.
      • Quick Restoration: Dentures can be fabricated relatively quickly compared to some other tooth replacement options, providing a swift solution to missing teeth.
      • Budget Constraints: Dentures are often more budget-friendly than dental implants or fixed bridges, making them an accessible choice for those with financial limitations.
      • Partial Denture Need: If you have gaps in your smile due to missing teeth but still have some healthy natural teeth, partial dentures can be an effective way to complete your smile.

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s essential to consult with our Modesto Denturist. We can assess your specific dental needs, discuss your options, and help you to get started with Denture process.

The Top Signs That You Should Get Dental Implants

A dental implant is a small piece of titanium or zirconium oxide that’s placed in your gums and jawbone through surgery. Over time, it becomes a permanent part of your mouth, acting like a replacement tooth root. After it heals, a fake tooth, called a dental crown, can be attached to the implant to fill the gap left by your missing tooth.

Here are some signs that suggest dental implants might be a good option for you:

      • Missing Teeth: If you have one or more missing teeth and want a permanent replacement, dental implants are a great option. They provide a stable and long-lasting solution to fill the gaps in your smile.
      • Strong Jawbone: Dental implants require a healthy and sturdy jawbone to support them. If your jawbone is in good condition, it’s a positive sign that you may be a suitable candidate for implants.
      • Desire for Stability: Dental implants offer stability and security. Unlike removable dentures, implants don’t slip or move when eating or speaking, providing a natural and comfortable feel.
      • Long-Term Solution: If you’re looking for a long-term tooth replacement solution, dental implants can last for several decades with proper care. They are known for their durability and reliability.
      • Ease of Maintenance: Dental implants require less special care compared to dentures. Regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental check-ups, are typically sufficient to maintain their health.
      • Financial Considerations: While dental implants can be more expensive upfront compared to other options, they can be a cost-effective choice in the long run due to its longevity and reduced maintenance needs. If you have the budget for it, it can be a worthwhile investment.

These are some signs that favor dental implant treatments over dentures. If your mouth condition matches the above signs, you should contact a dental implant specialist in Modesto, CA, to get your treatment started!

Dentures or Dental Implants: Which is The Most Convenient Tooth Replacement For Me?

If you’re missing some of your teeth, the first thing you should do is consult with your Modesto dentist. They’ll give you advice based on your health and situation.

But if your dentist tells you that both dentures and implants could work for you, then you’ll need to make a choice. So, how do you decide?

Of course, your dentist gives you a breakdown of both restoration options. They’ll explain to you what the procedures involve, how much they cost, and more. However, here are a few things to think about.

(And don’t forget, we have a handy dentures vs. implants comparison chart. at the end of this post.)

When is Denture a Better Choice?

Dentures might be a better pick when:

      • You need a less expensive solution right away.
      • You want a quick fix (a complete set of dentures in just 2-6 weeks).
      • Your jaw or gums are weak, and you might not be able to get implants, but you still want the appearance and health benefits of an entire set of teeth.

But there are some downsides to dentures:

      • You have to clean removable dentures properly and carefully every day.
      • It’s very important to hire a trusted dentist for partial dentures; if they don’t fit right, they can cause problems like decay and infection.
      • Even though your dentures will be custom-made to your mouth, there will be a brief adjustment period – how to speak properly and how to eat properly with them.
      • You’ll need to replace them every few years.

When Are Dental Implants a Better Option?

Dental implants might be the better choice when…

      • You want a replica of natural teeth that feels like real teeth.
      • You are looking for a long-lasting solution for your missing teeth.
      • You would rather avoid the hassle of special cleaning, frequent replacements, or extra maintenance.
      • You desire a solution that closely resembles and feels like your natural teeth.
      • Your jawbone is in great shape and condition.

However, there are some downsides to implants:

      • They can be more expensive upfront. But when you factor in the ongoing costs of dentures, like cleaning supplies and denture replacements, dental implants can often be a more cost-effective choice in the long run.
      • The implant process takes longer. From your first visit to the dentist to the day your implant is completed, it can take up to nine months (sometimes as short as 3-4 months), and you’ll need to visit your dentist several times during this period.
      • Implants require surgery. While your comfort and safety are top priorities, the surgical procedure will need some additional healing time, which is something you should consider when deciding on this option.

How Do You Maintain Dental Implants And Dentures?

Here’s an easy-to-follow guide on how to take care of your dental implants and dentures:

Dental Implants Maintenance:

      • Brush Twice Daily: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle toothpaste to brush your dental implants at least two times a day. This helps remove plaque and prevents tooth problems.
      • Floss Daily: Make flossing a daily habit to clean between your teeth and remove plaque and food bits.
      • Regular Dentist Visits: See your dentist two times a year for dental checkups and professional cleaning. They can spot any issues early and keep your implants in good shape.
      • Consider an Oral Irrigator: Use an oral irrigator if you have trouble cleaning certain areas that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. This tool can help remove plaque effectively.

Denture Maintenance:

      • Daily Cleaning: Clean your dentures every day with a special denture cleanser. This gets rid of plaque and food particles.
      • Gum, Tongue, and Mouth Cleaning: Brush your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth twice daily with a soft-bristled brush. This helps keep your mouth healthy.
      • Rinse After Meals: After eating, rinse your mouth with water to remove any remaining food particles.
      • Nighttime Rest: Take out your dentures at night to give your gums a break. This is important for your oral health.
      • Pre-Use Cleaning: Before putting your dentures back in your mouth, make sure they are clean. This prevents any buildup of plaque or bacteria.
      • Regular Dentist Visits: Just like with dental implants, see your dentist regularly for professional cleaning and checkups. They will ensure your dentures fit well and are in good condition.

Following these care instructions will help you maintain the health of your dentures or dental implants and keep your smile in great shape.

Comparison Chart Denture VS Dental Implants – To Summarize Things

Here’s a comparison chart that highlights the differences between dental implants and dentures:

Feature/Aspect  Dentures Dental Implants
Definition Removable appliances that replace missing teeth and some gum tissue. Titanium posts are inserted into the jawbone to replicate the root of a natural tooth.
Types Complete (full) dentures and partial dentures. Single tooth replacement, implant-supported bridges, implant-supported dentures.
Materials Used Acrylic base, porcelain or acrylic teeth, sometimes lightweight metal framework. Titanium, porcelain, or ceramic for the crown.
Procedure Custom molding and fitting of the denture to the mouth. Surgical insertion of the implant into the jawbone, followed by placement of a crown after healing.
Cost Less expensive initially, but may require replacements or adjustments over time. Generally higher initial cost.
Durability Typically last 5-10 years, and may require adjustments or replacements. Can last a lifetime with proper care.
Maintenance Brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. Daily cleaning, soaking overnight, regular dental check-ups.
Oral Health Benefits Prevents bone loss and doesn’t affect adjacent teeth. May lead to bone loss over time, and can cause wear on any remaining natural teeth.
Aesthetics and Functionality Looks and feel like natural teeth, with strong bite strength. Can look natural, but may feel bulky; bite strength can be weaker than natural teeth.
Insurance Coverage Typically covered by most dental insurance plans. Often considered a cosmetic procedure; may not be covered.
Comfort Once healed, feels like a natural tooth. May require an adjustment period; with the potential for discomfort or slippage.
Long-term Oral Health Stimulates bone, preventing bone loss. Can accelerate bone loss if ill-fitting.

Start Your Tooth Replacement With ProSmile Family Dental Care Modesto!

Choosing the right way to replace a missing tooth is something you should discuss with your dentist. They’ll consider your specific situation to help you decide whether dentures or implants are better for you.

At ProSmile Family Dental Care Modesto, we specialize in cosmetic dental care services & implants as professional dentists. Dr. Pushpinder Sethi can guide the best possible way to figure out which treatment is right for you. Make an appointment at our office or contact us online or call to get started. During your appointment, we will examine your mouth, discuss your options, and help you choose the perfect treatment plan for your unique situation.

You can visit our dental office in Modesto, CA to start working towards your dream smile. Just give us a call at (209-422-6176) or book an appointment online.

Book Your Visit Now

** Disclaimer: The above guide provided is for information purposes only. Prior to initiating any treatment, please consult with a qualified medical professional for guidance