Losing one or more teeth can have a huge impact on your self-esteem and confidence. After all, your smile is one of your most notable features and is a huge part of your personality – you should never have to feel like you can’t show off your smile. Tooth loss can also affect patients of all ages and can be caused by a range of different factors, including gum disease, cavities, other diseases and physical injury or trauma.
The good news is that there are a number of ways to replace missing teeth, including dentures and dental implants. These can help to improve your speech, support facial muscles, improve your self-esteem, and make eating easier.
If you’re struggling to choose between dentures or dental implants, you have certainly landed in the right place. We have created a helpful guide outlining everything that you need to consider.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable, prosthetic teeth that can be used to replace all teeth on both the upper and lower jaw. They are fitted to your mouth and can be fitted regardless of how much bone is present. Before your bespoke dentures are made, your dentist will assess your bite and alignment for optimum speech functionality and chewing.
Partial dentures can also be used to replace a few missing teeth and are designed to appear as natural as possible.
What are Dental Implants?
On the other hand, dental implants are more of a long term and discreet solution to combatting tooth loss. Fixed into the jawbone with a secure titanium screw, a dental implant also replaces your missing tooth root.
The process involved in creating and fitting your dentures requires a few visits to the dentist to ensure that an optimum fit is achieved.
During your initial visit, your dentist will carry out a thorough consultation where you will decide the denture style that is best suited to your needs. The health of your gums and teeth will be assessed and impressions of your mouth will be taken. On your second visit, more impressions will be taken and your jaw registration will also be recorded to ensure that your jaws articulate.
Once your dentures have been constructed, tried in your mouth, and adjusted if required, they are sent away for one final time to ensure that they fit perfectly.
A dental implant is fitted into your mouth using a titanium screw, which is carefully placed directly into your jawbone, replacing your missing tooth root. As with dentures, before your dentist goes ahead with this procedure, they will complete a thorough examination of your teeth, gums and jaw to ensure that you are suitable for this procedure.
Once your dental implants have been fitted, the bone surrounding your implant will gradually fuse to it, holding the implant in place. As part of the process, all dental implants are designed to blend in naturally with your existing smile, especially when it comes to matching the shape, size and colour.
As a general rule of thumb, you can expect your dentures to last anywhere between 5 -10 years, depending on how well you take care of them. Partial dentures can last up to 15 years.
All dental implants are designed to offer a permanent solution to tooth loss and as a result, they can last anywhere between 20 – 30 years. Of course, how long your dental implants will last depends on how well you look after them.
Dentures offer a great amount of functionality as they provide removable replacements for false teeth, as well as the loss of associated bone volume. Designed to fit perfectly over your gums with optimum comfort, dentures are made from nylon, metal or plastic.
Dental Implants are surgically placed into the jawbone to replace missing teeth, and go right into the root of a tooth. When it comes to functionality, dental implants will help to improve speech, make chewing easier, and feel just like your natural teeth.
All dentures are designed and made to be as comfortable as possible. They are customised to precisely fit your mouth and tooth structure, ensuring that they won’t slip and slide in your mouth. Using state of the art technology, they are also designed to enhance your natural smile.
Dental implants are also incredibly comfortable and secure. Many people believe they are more comfortable than dentures as they don’t slip out of place when you eat or talk.
If you’re looking into getting dentures, you can expect to pay anywhere between £500 – £600. However, they can cost as much as £1500 depending on the techniques and materials used, and the time needed to complete the work. The complexity of the work involved is also taken into account when calculating the cost.
In the UK, the cost of a single dental implant is estimated to be around £1500 – £2,500, making them more costly than dentures.
Things to Consider Before Making a Decision
Before making a final decision, you should also consider the following factors.
If you are 60 or younger, it’s worthwhile opting for dental implants as these last far longer than dentures. If you are over 60, dentures might be a better option as they are also less expensive and the procedure is not as invasive.
If you’re considering implants, it’s important that you have the right amount of jawbone to support the implant. With this in mind, if you have lost bone material due to gum disease, tooth loss or injury, this might not be the best option.
If you struggle to keep on top of oral hygiene, implants are the better option as dentures are considered as being more high maintenance.
Before deciding what, the best option is for you, you should take all of the above into account.