Dental Implants vs Dentures – What’s the Difference?

Dental Implants vs Dentures

When a child loses a baby tooth it’s a very important milestone in their development, but when an adult or teenager loses a tooth it can be incredibly worrying. Losing a tooth as an adult can drastically change the appearance of your smile, making you lose confidence in the look of your teeth and causing you to adjust the way that you eat and drink.

Tooth loss can be the cause of an injury sustained to the mouth or it can be the result of a disease or tooth decay. No matter the reason behind the tooth loss, receiving treatment for the lost tooth from a family dentistry is of the upmost importance, both for your oral health and for the confidence that you have in your smile.

Two treatments that are often suggested in the event of a lost tooth are dental implants and dentures. Both of these treatments are able to restore the natural look of your smile but in very different ways, that certainly aren’t interchangeable.

If you’re looking for the best way to give you back your smile, or your dentist has recommended one of the treatments, then you may be wondering which treatment is best, or why one has been suggested and not the other. Well, here’s everything that you need to know about the two highly popular but very different treatments…

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are not what many people think they are; they’re not a replacement for a missing tooth, but a replacement root that will be able to hold a replacement tooth in place. A dental implant is a very modern way of overcoming the problem of lost, broken, or damaged teeth where the tooth needs a complete replacement.

A dental implant is often made from strong titanium steel that is capable of properly supporting a replacement tooth. The replacement tooth will then commonly either take the form of a crown or a bridge, which offers the option of being permanent or removable.

The aim of a dental implant is to make the replacement tooth look as natural as possible and have the function and feel of a natural tooth. Often people find that with a dental implant, their ability to chew food and the sensation of chewing is very close or undisguisable from a natural tooth.

What Does Dental Implant Treatment Involve?

Dental implant treatment involves surgically fusing the titanium steel post to the jawbone. This procedure is performed by a specialist in general or family dentistry and is undertaken whilst the patient is under a local anesthesia.

Once the post has been implanted, the area is left to heal for up 3 months, during which time the bone will heal around the post. As soon as the area has properly healed, a specially made replacement tooth can be attached to the implant to achieve a natural look.

When Are Dental Implants Recommended?

Having a dental implant has many benefits, like the implant not impacting the surrounding teeth and the ability to speak and eat like normal after the procedure. However, dental implants are not a treatment that is recommended for everyone.

For a dental implant to be recommended, a dentist has to be certain that the bone where the post will be implanted is healthy. The bone will need to be strong enough to be able to support and hold in place the replacement tooth.

Dental implants are also more likely to be recommended in cases where just one or two teeth require replacement, but in some situations, it’s possible to have more than a couple of teeth replaced via dental implants.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are very different to dental implants in look, feel, and function, as well as in the procedure involved in creating them. A denture is a solution to one or more missing teeth and takes the form of a full or partial removable base that is designed to fit over the gums or be clipped into place. This base or framework will contain one or more replacement teeth.

The two types of denture, partial and full, are slightly different. A full denture can be a complete horseshoe shaped replica of the bottom teeth, or a replica of the top teeth that is held in place with a cover for the top of the mouth. A partial denture uses a metal framework, and to keep the replacement teeth in place, clips are often used.

What Does Denture Treatment Involve?

The process for creating dentures can change depending on the patient, but commonly it’ll involve taking impressions of your mouth, before bite molds are created that will enable your dentist to check whether your dentures will be comfortable. The denture will then be created to match the color and shape of your teeth as closely as possible.

A denture is fitted once damaged teeth have been removed or after you’ve had dental treatment after losing or fracturing a tooth. Dentures can normally be fitted straight away after treatment, but they will likely need replacing once the area has properly healed, so many people choose to wait to have them fitted.

When Are Dentures Recommended?

Dentures are commonly recommended when a large number of teeth require replacement. They’re also a much better option for patients that have weak or unhealthy bones and gums, as the process involved for dental implants is much more strenuous and requires significant support from the jaw bones.

Dental implants and dentures are two very common solutions to the same problem of lost or damaged teeth, both with the aim of restoring your smile and the function of your teeth in the most effective and natural way possible. If you’re worried about lost or damaged teeth, then visiting your local family dentistry practice is the first step that should be taken to restore your smile.