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Implants vs. Dentures: Which Is Right For Me

Smiling older man wearing full dentures

There is no reason to be embarrassed by missing teeth. In fact, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, 70% of adults from the ages of 35-to-44 years old have at least one missing tooth. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that one-in-six adults over the age of 65 have lost all of their teeth.

Dental implants and dentures are the two available treatment options for tooth loss. The right choice can be difficult, so you must consider price, feel, and durability ­– among other factors ­– before making your decision.

What to Consider When Deciding on Implants or Dentures

There isn’t a “right choice” when deciding between dental implants or dentures to replace missing teeth. Either option has pros and cons, but there are some questions to ask when deciding whether dental implants or dentures are right for you, including:

  • Durability: How long does each option last, and what level of care is required to maintain them?
  • Insurance coverage: Will insurance cover the cost of your treatment?
  • Maintenance: What are the daily care requirements necessary to maintain proper oral hygiene?
  • Cost: What is the initial financial investment required for both options and what are the long term maintenance costs.
  • Appearance and feel: How do implants or dentures look and how natural does each option feel in your mouth?

If you need help deciding whether dental implants or dentures are right for you, read on to learn about the pros and cons of each!

Dentures for Tooth Loss

Dentures are artificial teeth and gums that are custom made by dentists in order to replace missing teeth. Dentures for tooth loss come in two main types: partial dentures and full dentures. 

The purpose of partial dentures is to fill in gaps between teeth. If you are missing more than two teeth that are next to each other, your dentist may recommend partial dentures. Full dentures, on the other hand, are a full set of artificial teeth for those who have lost all their teeth or have weak gums. Full dentures can be custom made for the top or bottom of the mouth (or both), depending on a patient's specific needs. 

Pros of Dentures

There are many benefits to choosing dentures, including:

  • Less costly than dental implants.
  • The process to create them is quick, and requires minimal dental visits.
  • The procedure is non-invasive.
  • Can easily replace an entire row of missing teeth.
  • Often covered by insurance.

Cons of Dentures

For some patients, dentures may be the better choice. There are certain potential issues to keep in mind, however, when deciding as to whether or not dentures or implants are right for you, including:

  • They need to be replaced over time.
  • They can fall out if they are not properly secured with adhesive.
  • Proper care and cleaning are required, or else bacteria can build up and cause infection.
  • Replacements will need to be newly fitted each time to account for changes to jaw and gums.
  • They can feel bulky when compared to implants.

Dental Implants for Tooth Loss

A popular alternative to dentures, dental implants are another option for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are permanent teeth replacements that, with proper care, can last a lifetime. 

Dental implants are a surgical procedure that require anchors, or posts, to be placed in the bone in order to properly secure the implant. Over the course of between two-to-six months, , the bone will grow around the screw and implant, securing it in a process known as “osseointegration.”

Implants are popular primarily because they do not require additional maintenance from how one would normally clean his or her teeth. They also feel and look as natural as normal teeth. 

Pros of Dental Implants

  •  Feel much more like natural teeth.
  • With proper care, they can last a lifetime, as opposed to dentures, which require replacements.
  • Prevents jawbone deterioration.
  • No chance of slipping out of the mouth.

Cons of Dental Implants

  • Requires a higher initial investment.
  • They require a healthy jaw and gums to secure the implant.
  • Insurance may not cover the cost.
  • The procedure is invasive, and requires recovery time.

When are Implants or Dentures Needed for Tooth Loss?

If left untreated, missing or severely damaged teeth can cause oral and systemic health complications. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to drift and become misaligned; additionally, missing teeth increase your chances for gum disease and cause bone loss. This will lead to the surrounding teeth becoming weaker, which in turn may result in further tooth loss. If bone loss progresses far enough, you may even notice your facial shape changing as your jaw weakens in areas where tooth loss has occurred.  Systemically, we all benefit from a healthy diet and when teeth are missing, the types of healthy foods one can incorporate into their diet diminishes.

If you have missing teeth, be sure to speak to your dentist or oral surgeon about replacement options before the damage worsens. With your dental team, you can ask questions about tooth replacement options, and whether or not dentures or implants would best suit your needs. Your dental team can also walk you through the costs of each option and answer any questions you may have about the process for either dentures or dental implants. 

Missing Teeth? Contact Dental365

If you are looking to restore your missing teeth, Dental365 can help. Learn more about our affordable tooth replacement options in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Call us today at , or request an appointment through our website at any time.


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