Dentures and dental implants are great options when you need to replace one or more missing teeth. The right one depends on your budget, comfort level, and the health of your jawbone and remaining teeth. While dentures and implants serve the same purpose in replacing missing teeth and supporting facial muscles and function, each has its advantages and disadvantages.
As a local Calgary dental clinic, we help our patients find the right restorative dental solution that meets their needs. To help you make an informed decision, we discuss the pros and cons of dentures and dental implants below.
The pros and cons of dental implants
Dental implants consist of a post, an abutment, and a crown. The post is typically made of titanium and is surgically placed into your jawbone, where they act like an artificial tooth root. Once healed, an abutment is placed, and a crown that mimics the look and colour of surrounding teeth is securely attached to it, completing the dental implant process. Dental implants are one of the most sturdy and long-lasting restorative dental treatment options.
- Functions like natural teeth
- Improves chewing and speaking
- Restores bite force
- Patients can eat hard and sticky foods
- Prevents bone loss
- No slippage, unlike dentures
- A permanent solution that can last forever
- The most expensive way to replace missing teeth
- A long process that requires surgery
The pros and cons of dentures
Dentures are removable, artificial teeth that are fitted for your mouth, and they can also be ‘fixed’ dentures held in place by dental implants. Dentures can be a complete set to replace all teeth on the upper or lower gumline or partial dentures to replace only a few missing teeth. Dentures are customized by first taking an impression of your mouth so they fit comfortably and securely.
- Less costly than dental implants
- Does not require surgery or healing time
- The process takes less time
- They are low maintenance and easy to clean
- Today’s dentures look and feel natural
- Provides jaw support
- Not a permanent solution
- Requires replacement over the years as facial structure changes
- Does not prevent bone loss
Other factors to consider when deciding between dental implants and dentures
Keep in mind that while dental implants are a sturdy and reliable solution for replacing missing teeth, some patients may not qualify for them. You’ll need a healthy amount of jawbone to support the posts. However, bone grafting is available for patients who have experienced jawbone loss due to age, injury, tooth loss, or gum disease.
Older patients over 70 typically choose dentures because they don’t wish to go through a time-consuming procedure that requires surgery and healing time. Adults younger than 60 can expect to enjoy a few decades with dental implants, which becomes the more cost-effective option in this case.
As you weigh the pros and cons of each treatment, be sure to discuss your situation with your dentist, who can give you a personalized recommendation based on your situation.