Updated: Mar 9
In the United States, more than 70% of adults above the age of 35 have a missing tooth. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, these adults experience tooth loss due to various reasons, including dental disease, accidents, tooth decay, gum conditions, and dental fractures.
Dentures of various forms have been used to replace missing teeth since 700 BC. However, significant development within the oral and maxillofacial industry has led to the creation of much better solutions.
Today, you don’t have to go through life with a missing tooth, there are many ways you can replace the tooth and get your smile and function back effectively.
For the most part, dental implants have been consistently more popular among patients. Dentures are also common but they are much more common in older dental patients and those with more than one tooth missing.
When it comes to choosing between dental implants vs. traditional dentures, there are many things to consider. It’s important to do your research prior to getting either. This brief explanation of both, dental implants and traditional dentures may help you make the choice.
One of the most popular examples of dentures is the supposed wooden ones that George Washington was believed to have worn. However, they were actually made out of ivory, metal alloys and other human teeth.
Today, dentures are much better. Made of acrylic, nylon, or metal, they are customized for each patient. The fixtures are made for full or partial dentures as per the patient’s needs.
Dentures don’t require surgical placement and can be removed. They are inserts that you can click in place when you need them and take them out at night. The false teeth are made to match the patient’s real teeth. They also provide complete functionality.
They are quite convenient, especially if you are missing multiple teeth on the same side.
Dental implants are quite the opposite of dentures. Instead of being removable, dental implants are a more permanent solution for teeth loss. They allow patients to get as close as they can to natural teeth.
The crown itself is made of ceramic material and looks similar to natural teeth. It is fixed on a connector or abutment. The abutment is secured on the actual implant by screwing it on. The base of a dental implant is made of titanium.
The procedure is surgical as the titanium base is inserted into the gum, in place of the missing tooth. Once it has fused with the natural bone, the abutment is screwed on.
Dental implants provide the same function and even a more natural look to the teeth. Compared to dentures, implants require a little more care as they are fitted surgically and tend to cost more. Implants, however, serve both functionality and aesthetics more effectively.
How to Choose?
Now aware of the basics of both dental implants and traditional dentures, the choice depends on a couple of things. Number one, do you prefer a more permanent solution or want something removable? Number two, what is the purpose of the replacement? And number 3, how much are you willing to spend.
Of course, your overall health also impacts the decision. Both have their pros and cons. The best way to make a decision is by consulting your dentist. They can help you decide which one is more suited to your needs and your budget but will still serve the purpose well.
Talk to Dr. Pallavi Sinha about your options.