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Dentures vs Dental Implants in El Paso, TX
Are you facing the need to replace missing teeth and confused between dentures and dental implants? You might also be considering dental bridges. Dentures and dental implants are some of the most used solutions to missing teeth. However, as you might have guessed, aiming to serve the same purpose does not make them entirely similar.
Deciding which option will serve you better requires an in-depth understanding of each choice in terms of what it entails, the advantages it confers, and the accompanying disadvantages.
Consider contacting Bruce Gopin, DDS, MS for a more customized explanation and guidance on the best option for you.
What are Dentures and Dental Implants?
Also referred to as artificial or replacement teeth, dentures are removable metallic or plastic frameworks that support artificial teeth that are clipped on the gum. Depending on the extent of tooth loss there are partial and full dentures. While full dentures replace all the teeth, partial ones replace the missing piece or set. It is recommended to wear the dentures during the day and remove them at night for cleaning. At night, you are expected to soak the dentures in water or a specified solution.
Dental implants refer to artificial tooth roots made of titanium that are gently placed on the jawbone. Upon fusing with the bone, an abutment is placed on the implant. Doctors then place crowns on the abutment. Like dentures, implants can also be partial or full.
The main merit of dentures is low cost. Because dentures do not require any invasive surgery on the jawbone, they are relatively less costly as compared to implants. Also, they only address the part of teeth above the gum. Another main advantage is that dentures can be placed on individuals that have experienced bone loss or gum recession. Dentures have to be replaced over time as the shape of the jawbone changes with time. The replacements still add to the inconvenience and overall costs.
For dental implants, permanency is their greatest strength. These artificial tooth roots are placed within the patient’s jawbone. This means that they do not have to remove them at night or any other time. Cleaning should be done as with your natural teeth. A benefit of being placed on the jawbone is that the patient does not have to worry about their changing jawbone shape and structure. Also, dental implants play a huge role in preventing further jawbone loss. Moreover, the fact that implants prevent jawbone loss means that the patient’s face structure will relatively remain the same as they age. Face structure has an effect on the ability to smile and chew. Therefore, people using dental implants find it easier to smile and chew.
For dentures and dental bridges, one must be prepared to keep adjusting and replacing them. This is primarily because the structure of the bone and the gums keep changing with age. In addition, dentures can slip or even come out while the person is eating or speaking. This embarrassment can reverse the gains made in self-esteem and confidence. Therefore, people wearing dentures have to exercise caution all the time they are wearing the appliances. Slipping of dentures can make chewing and speaking difficult. Dentures do not feel like natural teeth as they are not attached to the jawbone. As such, properly using them requires practice. Another main disadvantage of dentures is the daily care required. While the requirement to remove and soak dentures can seem manageable at the onset, it can be quite an inconvenience in the long term. Failure to exercise recommended care can result in gum infection.
Shifting to dental implants, their invasive nature is one of the demerits. Placing dental implants requires oral surgery. Furthermore, after healing has taken place, another minor procedure is conducted in placing the abutment. This procedure can be done under localized anesthesia.
Besides the invasiveness of the treatment, not everyone qualifies for dental implants.
People that still have their jawbones undergoing growth are not good candidates for this option. Also, this route requires the patient to have healthy jawbones. In the scenario of jawbone loss, grafting can be done. Like with all other procedures, bone grafting can cause some pain besides adding to the total time of the procedure.
In addition, dental implant procedures can lead to complications just like any other surgical operation. There may be instances of gum infection, inflammation, and tingling. Nerve or sinus damage can also happen if anything goes wrong during surgery. These possible complications highlight the need to choose highly qualified and accredited professionals.
Other Factors to Consider
Besides looking at advantages and disadvantages, there are also other factors to consider in making the choice between dentures and dental implants. One of these is the overall time each option takes to finish.
For dental implants, the total time required can span over a year. Before placement, the team of experts responsible has to examine the patient’s medical history, there may be a need to take x-rays to establish the strength and health of the jawbone. If the patient is pregnant, the team may opt to wait until after delivery because of the effect of anesthesia on expectant mothers and unborn children. Furthermore, for smokers, the team in charge of the procedure may advise the patient to first quit smoking so as to facilitate gum healing after placement. Quitting smoking is a lifestyle adjustment that can take a long time. Therefore, if one intends to have a dental implant while still smoking, the option may not be the best.
For dentures, one can have the whole process completed in an hour as long as the facility has ready dentures. Technological advancements have made it possible to have 3D-printed dentures to enhance fitting and make them feel more natural. As such, one can easily have dentures placed within just one dental visit.
If you are looking for a more individualized and professional comparison of dentures and dental implants, consider visiting us at Bruce Gopin, DDS, MS. You can also call us at 915-213-3455.