If you are missing all or some of your natural teeth, a dentist can replace them with either dentures (full or partial) or dental implants. Both options can restore the appearance of your smile and allow you to eat and speak a little more easily, but there are important differences between them. Let's take a brief look at the pros and cons of each option.
The Fitting Procedure
There is no doubt that the fitting process for dental implants is more involved and invasive than that for dentures. Dental implants are attached to titanium support posts, which must be inserted into the gum in a surgery before the implants can be fitted. As with all surgeries, this process involves a recovery period and can be uncomfortable.
On the other hand, the denture fitting process is non-invasive. A dentist takes a mould of your mouth and uses it to produce custom dentures that fit you perfectly. The downside is that you will probably need to go through this process multiple times during your life as your mouth changes shape so that your dentures no longer fit as well. In contrast, dental implants are permanent and rarely need replacing.
If you hanker for false teeth that feel exactly like real ones, then dental implants are the best option. Once the implant crowns have been fitted to the support posts, it is impossible for them to slip around or slide out of place. You can enjoy eating all your favourite foods and speak with confidence.
Dentures offer good functionality to most people, although you might need to use denture adhesive to keep them in place. You might also need to avoid certain foods, such as sticky toffees and gum, which can pull dentures out of place.
Dental implants offer a number of oral health benefits compared to dentures. Most importantly, they transfer chewing forces through the gum tissue to the jaw bone, stimulating new bone growth and helping to avoid bone atrophy which is common in older people who have lost teeth. Dental implants also help to keep any remaining natural teeth in the right positions, whereas dentures, which are removed at night, can allow them to move around and become misaligned.
Both dental implants and dentures can be made to look natural. Dentists strive to match the colour of dentures or implant crowns to that of your own teeth to create a seamless and natural-looking smile.