“Don’t complain about growing old –– it’s a privilege denied to many.” You’ve probably heard that saying before, and as much as we love the sentiment, there are some hardships that come with growing older. As people age, it’s natural to experience tooth loss for one reason or another. Unfortunately, having missing teeth can be embarrassing. It can also create problems doing practical things, like eating and speaking properly. The good news is that there are a few ways to restore a smile to its previous look and function. There are two common options: dentures and dental implants. When it comes to dentures vs. dental implants, your dentist can help you think through which option is the best for you. That being said, it’s a good idea to research the pros and cons of each as you consider your options.
Pros and Cons of Dentures
In the past, dentures were the only option for people who suffered from advanced tooth loss. Dentures are false teeth mounted on a flesh-colored base. To keep dentures in place, you need to use denture paste or adhesive. If you skip this step, the dentures may slip out during eating and speaking, which can result in embarrassing situations.
If you have weak or unhealthy jawbones or gum tissue, dentures are a great way to restore the smile without damaging the remaining bone. The upfront financial cost of dentures is much less than dental implants, but keep in mind that dentures will need to be replaced every few years as you age and as your bone structure changes.
Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
Unlike dentures –– which are just the façade of natural teeth –– dental implants serve as a permanent replacement. Dental implants are posts that are surgically implanted directly into the jaw to serve as an anchor on which dental crowns are mounted. Dental implants are a long-term solution to tooth loss and won’t require the maintenance that dentures do. Dentures need adhesives to stay in place and also need to be cleaned, removed, replaced, dental implants are less maintenance. You’ll care for dental implants the same way you care for your natural teeth.
While implants do cost more money upfront than dentures, the costs of dentures will eventually add up. These additional costs include cleaning solutions, adhesives, repairs, and denture replacements down the road. Because of this, dental implants may be a better financial option in the long run.
Things to Consider When Choosing Between Dentures and Implants
While both options are good, there are a few factors to take into consideration when making your decision.
- Age: Dental implants are permanent, so younger patients may want to opt for them over dentures to get the most “mileage” for the money. Older patients, on the other hand, may prefer the less invasive process of dentures.
- Bone density: Implants require a certain amount of jawbone to support the posts. If you’ve lost bone density for any reason, dentures might be the better option for you.
- Function: We mentioned previously that dentures require adhesive to stay in place while chewing or talking. Dental implants don’t require any additional adhesive or “work” to properly chew and speak.
- Hygiene: Since dentures require more maintenance, it’s important to think through whether or not you’ll be able to properly care for your dentures. Dental implants are less maintenance in the long run.
When it comes time for you to decide between dentures vs dental implants as the best way to restore your smile, always consult with your dentist. Your dentist will review your dental history and guide you in making the right decision.
Here at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado, we make it our mission to restore patients’ smiles regardless of age. For information about the endodontic services we offer in Colorado Springs or Pueblo, contact us today!