Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants vs. Dentures

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Medically Reviewed By
Jonathan G. Campbell, DDS, FAGD
One of the top rated Dentist in Salt Lake City, UT
Dental implants VS. dentures

Millions of American adults suffer from a condition known as edentulism. This is a condition characterized by partial or complete tooth loss. It is most common among adults over the age of 64 but may also affect younger populations.

There are several potential causes for this condition, including:

  • Genetics
  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Injury
  • Oral and/or medical conditions

Edentulism can have a detrimental impact on your oral and overall health. Therefore, it becomes necessary to replace missing teeth. There are several options for tooth replacement. The two most common are dentures and dental implants.

Comparing Dental Implants vs. Dentures

Below, we’ll compare these two tooth replacement options based on:

  • Procedure
  • Cost
  • Maintenance
  • Who is Eligible?
    • Procedure of Getting Dental Implants vs Dentures

      • The procedure for getting dentures is fairly simple.

        1. The first step is the consultation appointment. During this visit, the dentist will perform a comprehensive exam including x-rays. Your current oral and medical conditions will also be evaluated. This will help to determine if you are a candidate for dentures. 
        2. If you need additional procedures such as tooth extraction, gum disease treatment, or more, those will be scheduled.
        3. If you qualify for dentures, an impression will be taken of your jaw. This will be used to fabricate your denture plates. This usually takes a few weeks. 
        4. You may be given a temporary denture to wear while you wait. Once the dentures are sent back to the office, the dentist will check to ensure they fit properly and you will have a functional set of teeth.
      • The procedure for getting dental implants is fairly extensive

        Oral surgery is required for the placement of the implant screws, and the entire process from consultation to fully functional teeth usually takes several months to a year or more.

        1. The consultation appointment will help to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. If you require any additional procedures, such as bone grafting, tooth extraction, gum disease treatment, or others, those will be scheduled. If not, the surgery for implant placement can be scheduled.
        2. On the day of the implant surgery, local anesthesia will be administered. If needed, sedation may be used to help with relaxation. Then, an incision will be cut into the gum and a hole drilled into the jawbone for the implant screw. Once the implant is placed, the incision will be stitched closed.
        3. In the case of traditional implants, you will be sent home to heal. This usually takes several months. During this time, the process of osseointegration occurs, which is when the jawbone heals around and fuses with the implant screw. Once this happens, the restoration can be placed. During this time, you will still be able to wear your denture. 
        4. You will return to the dentist and the incision will be opened to expose the implant screw. An abutment will be placed, and the denture will be ordered or your existing denture will be modified. A healing cap will be placed on the abutment to prevent the gum from healing over it. When the denture is returned to the office, it can be attached to the implant screw and you will once again have fully functional teeth.
    • Cost of getting Dental Implants vs Dentures

      • Dentures are the more affordable option. 

        The cost generally ranges between $1,800 to $4,000 per arch. Most dental insurance providers will cover up to 50% of the cost of conventional dentures.

      • Dental implants cost an average of $4,000 per tooth. 

        Many dental insurance providers classify this as a restorative procedure and will cover a portion of the cost. However, there are some that classify it as cosmetic and therefore, will not cover any portion of the cost.

        The out-of-pocket cost of either option depends on several factors including:

        • Type of restoration
        • Restoration material
        • Experience/expertise of the dentist
        • Location of the dental clinic
        • Additional procedures required
        • Dental insurance coverage

        Note to Reader: If you do not have dental insurance or if you are unable to afford tooth replacement, most dental clinics offer financing. This will help to cover the cost of the replacement and allow you to break the fee up into smaller, more budget-friendly payments.

    • Maintenance of Dental Implants vs Dentures

      While artificial teeth cannot develop tooth decay like natural teeth, they still must be maintained properly. 

      • Maintenance for dentures depends on the type of denture you have.

        Removable dentures must be taken out before bed and cleaned. You will brush them with a denture cleaner using a toothbrush made for dentures. Then, they should be placed in a denture solution or water overnight. This will not only clean your dentures but also allow your mouth to rest.

      • Dental implants, on the other hand, should be maintained like natural teeth. 

        You should brush twice daily, floss at least once- preferably with a water flosser, and use an alcohol-free mouthwash.

        You should visit the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning. This will help to monitor for any changes in your jawbone or soft tissue, as well as for any issues that could cause complications. If you have any problems, you should immediately schedule an appointment with your dentist to have it resolved.

    • Who is Eligible?

      If you are already missing some or all of your teeth or if your teeth are badly damaged/decayed, you should consider tooth replacement options.

      • Most patients qualify for conventional dentures. 

        However, you may want to consider the disadvantages including maintenance considerations and lack of stability.

      • There are several considerations that are used to determine if a patient qualifies for dental implants.

        These include, but not limited to:

        • Adequate jawbone: your teeth are what keeps your jawbone healthy and dense. If you are missing teeth, your jawbone will begin to deteriorate. This leads to additional tooth loss.
        • Healthy oral hygiene habits: if you are not taking care of your natural teeth, you are more likely to experience dental implant failure.
        • Medical conditions/treatments: patients who have uncontrolled diabetes, heart disease, and other medical conditions or who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation are more likely to experience implant failure.

        The best way to determine which option is best for you is to schedule an appointment with the dentist. They will be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you decide which one is best for you.

Get a Brand New Smile with Multiple Missing Teeth Replacement Options in Salt Lake City, UT

Legacy Dental offers Dental Implants, Implant Retained Dentures, Partial Dentures and all-on-4 Dental Implants for People who wish to restore their smile. Our Clinic is located at 1345 E 3900 S STE 116, Salt Lake City, UT 84124.

Give us a Call or Book an appointment for your next dental visit.

We also provide Free Virtual Consultations so you can be certain of your treatment.

References

Legacy Dental blog is proudly run by our Salt Lake City dentists team; We share knowledge about general dental care and practices. Apart from running this blog, we offer various dental services such as general dentistry, emergency dentistry, and dental implants for the community in Salt Lake City, Utah

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