elderly woman at dentist office

Dental Implants vs. Dentures: Options to Consider

We see many patients who are in the process of deciding between dental implants and dentures. As you weigh your options, it's important to consider the following:

Dental Implants Preserve Jaw Bone

You hear it time and time again––dental implants prevent bone loss. But what exactly does it mean and how does it work?

Permanent (adult) teeth are anchored in place by a long root. The presence of this root tells the jaw bone that it's needed for support. With the root gone, the jaw bone begins to deteriorate because it is no longer needed to support the tooth. When teeth are missing and bone density in the jaw decreases, we see:

    • The onset of facial collapse, a process in which the jaw begins to recede, causing a prematurely aged appearance
    • Difficulty biting and chewing
    • Other teeth shifting, becoming loose, or even falling out

When you choose dentures over dental implants, you're replacing the visible portion of your missing teeth, but not the part below the gum line. This means that bone loss in the jaw continues unabated, leading to eventual facial collapse and a weakened bite.

Dental Implants Function Like Natural Teeth

Because dentures only replace the tooth above the gum line, they don't function as your natural teeth did. Dentures feel unnatural; they may slip, impact your speaking, or rub against your gums, causing sores. To put them on each day, you'll need to apply messy denture adhesives or creams. They have to be removed for cleaning and because they're not anchored in place like implants, they don't have the stability to allow you to eat all of your favorite foods.

In contrast, dental implants look and feel just like natural teeth––so much so that most patients forget they even have them after a while. They're cleaned and maintained the same way as natural teeth too, with biannual dental visits, brushing, and flossing. They don't impact your speaking, they don't require adhesives, and you can eat any foods you like without restriction.

Dental Implants Last a Lifetime

Dentures need to be relined and replaced regularly; as the jaw bone changes shape, your dentures may no longer fit securely. Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.

Dentures Are More Affordable

Unfortunately, dental implants are not often covered by insurance, while dentures are. Even if you're paying for your dentures out-of-pocket, though, they are more affordable than dental implants. This is because the process of getting dental implants is more involved, requiring multiple office visits, one or more surgeries, and custom-made artificial teeth to fit your mouth.

If dental implants are not an option for you because of finances, we offer top-of-the-line traditional dentures. We also offer an exciting hybrid option, implant-supported dentures, in which a full or partial denture is anchored in place with implants. Because each missing tooth is not being replaced with its own implant, this procedure is a more affordable solution.

Find Out More About Dentures vs. Dental Implants

If you have questions about which option is right for you, make an appointment today to see our team at Smiles on the Upper Westside. Contact us at 212-222-5225 to schedule a visit.