Dentures or false teeth are a good substitute for lost natural teeth. Dentures are not invasive in nature, though they can cause a bit of discomfort initially. Dental implants, on the other hand have to be carried out by a dental surgeon. The procedure involves implanting an artificial tooth that has a root portion (made of titanium) that is implanted in the jaw bone.
Both the options have their own merits and demerits, and it is not an easy decision to make for most people. While the dentist will check the strength of the underlying bone and consider your age before deciding on an implant, dentures are quite harmless and anyone can be fitted out for partial or complete dentures. Here are some points that explain the advantages and disadvantages of both:
Do you need dentures or implants?
Some people are unfortunate and lose some teeth early in life. There are yet some others who are born with irregular teeth, which makes them reluctant to smile and chewing can be an ordeal as well. Some people meet with unfortunate accidents and lose some of their teeth. Gum disease is another important cause of tooth loss. Whatever be the case, you’ll need to wear dentures or go for tooth implant.
The Differences between Dentures and Tooth Implants
Dentures, also popularly known as ‘false teeth’ are artificial teeth that are used as substitutes to replace missing natural teeth. Dentures can be either partial or complete and both are removable. The traditional type of dentures are known as clip-ons where a bit of steel wire is used to fix the dentures onto your gums. Some dentures are simply fixed on the gum tissue using a paste known as denture adhesive.
A tooth implant is possible only if the underlying bone is strong enough to support. Moreover, it involves a surgical procedure where you may have to be ‘put under’ with an anesthetic or the dentist may decide to use a local anesthetic. Some people are not comfortable with going in for a surgical procedure and would rather get themselves fitted out for dentures. If you are one of those, you may well try the denture paste or denture fixative cream as it is called.
Fixing your teeth with a denture adhesive is a non-invasive method of fixing your dentures. It gives a comfortable feel and does not cause any irritation or oral sores as there is absolutely no friction. The disadvantage with this method is that you will need to fix your dentures at regular intervals of 24 hours or 48 hours. There is also the cost of denture paste, which some find to be quite high. However, considering the comfort levels and convenience, many people are switching to dentures that can be fixed using a denture adhesive.
Dental implants offer a permanent solution to replace missing natural teeth. Although implants can be frightfully expensive, these artificial titanium-base teeth can be implanted into the jaw bone and are as good as natural teeth as far as feel and function are concerned.
Implants are used for replacing a single tooth or multiple teeth. When the adjoining tooth is strong, the dentist may suggest a bridge, where the false teeth are tethered to the natural teeth. There have been cases where all the teeth had to be replaced with implants, which was possible as the bone was strong enough.
Factors to take note of
One tooth or multiple teeth to be replaced
The number of implants required
The total cost involved, which includes surgeon’s fees and all materials
The age of the patient and the intensity of the need
Do you have insurance coverage? (not available in most cases)
The final call is yours and you are the best person to decide whether you wish to go for dentures or implants. Dentures are cost effective, and if you go for the ones that can be fixed with a denture adhesive, the discomfort is minimized. Clip-on dentures are a bit cumbersome and may cause some irritation initially. However, cost-wise, traditional dentures are preferable.