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Dentures vs. Dental Implants

Posted on June 23, 2011 | in Dentures | by

When it comes to missing teeth, we usually have to choose between one or the other; Dentures or Implants. But how can we be sure we’re making the best choice for optimal long-term oral health?

We can start by communicating with our dentists.

Then we can continue to educate ourselves by asking friends and family that have experienced one particular solution or another for their missing teeth. Surely the opinions and surrounding circumstances will vary, but we’ll certainly gain some additional insight into the dentures vs. implants equation…

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are removable prosthetic devices or appliances designed to replace missing teeth. When we think of dentures, lots of people think of “false teeth” and Polydent® commercials and Martha Raye.

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Dental Implants are fixed, permanent solutions to missing teeth. Implants are surgically inserted into a patient’s jawbone, resulting in a more comfortable and permanent solution to a removable hockey player smile.

The Cost of Dentures

Sometimes – and much to the detriment of our optimal oral health – we make dental healthcare decisions based on cost. This is often the case when we’re presented with the treatment options necessary to replace a missing tooth, or teeth.

When it comes to choosing between dental implants or dentures, we’re best served doing as much homework as possible. After all, we’re talking about our teeth…unless we want to drink our food for the rest of our lives; this isn’t a decision to enter into lightly.

And it shouldn’t be one based solely on cost.

Aren’t Dentures More Affordable Than Dental Implants?

Yes, dentures are usually more affordable than dental implants. But do we really want to be bargain hunting when we’re talking about our teeth, let alone overall systemic health and wellness?

Furthermore, if we factor in the maintenance, possibility of loss or damage, and the probability of ill-fitting dentures needing to be re-fitted every so often (7-15 years on average); is there still such a cost disparity between dentures and dental implants?

The Dentures Comfort Factor

There are lots of problems that can arise from wearing dentures. From poor-fitting prosthetics to inflamed gums, dentures often become more of a hassle and require more maintenance than the more permanent solution of dental implants.

In doing our research as responsible dental patients, when confronted with the dentures vs. implants question, comfort would definitely be the biggest gripe. Simply put, dentures can’t be too comfortable.

They can slip, crack, or simply just stop fitting so well due to changes in our bone structure.

Did you know dentures may lead to bone loss in the area where the tooth or teeth are missing?

According to the AAOMS (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons), statistics show that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay. Furthermore, by age 74, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth.

When it comes to closing that gap tooth smile, or replacing our chompers in their entirety, the dentures vs. implant question will be presented to us.

How we answer will determine the amount of time needed for upkeep, costs involved, and comfort level achieved.

Choose…but choose wisely!

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of DentalPatientNews.com, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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