Are you in need of tooth replacement? Whether you need just a few or all of your teeth replaced, there are a few different options. Dental implants are often used to replace one or a few teeth and dentures are more often used when an entire arch of teeth needs to be replaced.
What’s the difference between dental implants and dentures? And which option is better for you? Here’s what you should know about both tooth replacement options.
What is a dental implant?
As far as tooth replacement options go, dental implants are considered to be the gold standard. The reason for this is because a dental implant looks and functions as closely as possible to a natural tooth. This is also why it is the most expensive tooth replacement option.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth and root system. The implant root is a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jaw bone. It bonds with the bone to form a solid anchor for the crown that attaches to the top. Once the procedure is complete, you can eat and care for your teeth just as you would when your natural tooth was in place.
Because of the cost, dental implants are most often used to replace one or just a few missing teeth, but they can be used to replace as many teeth as you need.
What are dentures?
Dentures consist of a complete row or arch of artificial teeth. Dentures most often attach to the gums via suction or adhesives. When all or most of your teeth need to be replaced, dentures are a more affordable option.
Because of their affordability, dentures are a more commonly used tooth replacement option when the majority or all of the teeth need to be replaced. However, dentures come with some disadvantages as well. Adhesives and suction can often allow dentures to slip when eating or talking. And because dentures sit on top of the gums, the jaw bone doesn’t get any support. The jaw will weaken and eventually resorb, resulting in the sunken jaw look that some long term denture wearers develop.
How can dental implants and dentures work together?
If you need a complete arch of replacement teeth, dentures and dental implants can be a winning combination. Implant supported dentures (otherwise known as “all-on-four”) offer the best of both options. In this procedure four or six dental implants are placed in the jaw bone to serve as anchors for the dentures. The implants help to preserve the jaw bone while providing a solid hold to keep dentures from slipping out of place. On the bottom arch, it is also possible to do two implants and what is called an implant overdenture that snaps into the implants.
Patients save money because fewer dental implants are needed for this option. Bone density is preserved because of the implant roots that extend into the jaw. And the dentures are held securely in place for a solid and more comfortable fit. No more pinching of the gums or dentures slipping out of place when you eat or talk.
Dental Implants Are Affordable at Holzinger Periodontics
Dental implants are the elite option for tooth replacement. But that doesn’t mean only elite patients can afford them. In some cases dental implants are covered by dental and medical insurance. In cases where insurance doesn’t cover enough or any of the procedure, financing is available to spread the cost out into affordable monthly payments. At Holzinger Periodontics, we believe every patient deserves the best quality dental care, regardless of personal budget.