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Dental Implants vs Dental Dentures: What’s right for you?

29 July 2022by Shiv

Missing teeth are often an unpleasant sight and a potential cause of embarrassment. A gap created due to missing teeth is not just cosmetically undesirable,  it also hinders the normal functioning of your mouth, such as during chewing or even speaking. Sometimes teeth can even be congenitally-absent i.e. you were born without them. Missing teeth are more commonly a consequence of infection or  trauma. Irrespective of the underlying cause we have different solutions to fill this undesirable gap created in your dentition due to missing teeth. Dental implants vs dental dentures are the two common options to replace missing teeth. 


How do the missing teeth affect you?


The impact of missing teeth depends, to a great extent, on their location. If you have a tooth missing on the back or side, it may not have prominent cosmetic implications. 


However, as the entire dentition has to work in tandem to deliver efficient function, a few missing teeth may hinder the process. It will compel you to use the part contralateral to missing teeth for chewing and biting; this can ultimately lead to facial asymmetry. The standard process of eating will become relatively sluggish and uncomfortable. You may also face difficulty while speaking as the air passes without resistance from the gap, and the sound orientation becomes bizarre. The teeth surrounding the gap may become crooked due to the lack of support from the side. 


Another untoward occurrence that may be associated with missing teeth is the development of sensitivity to hot and cold. These problems indicate that it is necessary to replenish the gap created by your missing teeth. 


Dental implants vs dentures


Dental implants: These are dental prosthetic devices made up of titanium that is used as a replacement for the root of your teeth. These are anchored into sockets drilled inside your jaw bone and provide a framework over which a crown, bridge, or denture can be installed. 


Dental dentures: These are commonly referred to as false teeth and are prosthetic devices used to supplant your missing teeth. These are held in place with the support of surrounding soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Traditionally, these were made of acrylic resins, but now a wide variety of materials are used in their manufacturing. Valplast flexible dentures being in trend nowadays.


Which is better: dental implants vs dental dentures?


Dental implants provide the foundation on which a prosthetic or false tooth is placed. They don’t fill the gap by themselves but aid in its restoration by providing a strong foundation. Healthy gums and adequate bone is the prerequisite for getting a dental implant. Sometimes, when sufficient quantity and quality of bone is not present, bone grafting has to be done to make enough space for drilling a socket and installing a dental implant.


On the other hand, dentures are held in place with the support of adjacent tissues either by natural suction or by a fixative. A denture can also be used with the support of a dental implant. They mimic your natural teeth and thus provide a cosmetically improved restoration. These can be customised according to your missing teeth, as partial or complete dentures. 


Dental implants are contraindicated in patients who have periodontal gum disease, chronic alcohol consumers, teeth grinders, and immunocompromised individuals. 

Dental dentures cannot be used in patients whose adjacent structures to the gap are weak or diseased. 


Thus, it mostly depends on your oral and general condition, which will be a better alternative to restore your missing teeth.


What are the different types of dental dentures?


  • Full/complete dentures: These dentures replace your entire set of teeth and are held in place with the support of your gums, either by suction or a fixative.
  • Partial/incomplete dentures: These are custom dentures that replace only one or a few missing teeth. They are held in place by the support of adjacent teeth and the gums.


Dental implants vs partial dentures


When you have only one or a few missing teeth, dental implants should be chosen over a partial denture.


  • Dental implants are more durable and require less maintenance as compared to a denture. Implants will serve as a long term investment, while dentures will require more frequent follow-up.
  • Dental implants will invigorate your tooth and make the restoration more firm and stable as it will be integrated with the bone by the process of osseointegration. On the other hand, a partial denture may become loose and appear unnatural. It also wears off early due to repeated removal.
  • Dental implants will stimulate the jaw and bone, while dentures may weaken them on prolonged use.


Dental implants vs permanent dentures


Dentures are mostly removable and provide the flexibility of cleaning them and removing them whenever desired. But some individuals may not want a removable denture as it requires a lot of care and maintenance. You have to remove it at night and clean it, then wear it again. All this might seem chaotic, especially to old and weak people who want a permanent solution to their missing teeth. 


In such cases, permanent dentures can be used. These dentures are surgically fixed permanently onto the upper and lower jaw with the help of dental implants. They allow you to smile, chew, and be more comfortable and less conscious as that with removable dentures.


Can you get dental implants if you have dentures?


Switching from dental dentures to implants is certainly possible, but your dentist will first assess the condition of your oral structures. If you have disease-free gums and adequate bone, you will be rendered eligible for dental implants; otherwise, certain other procedures will have to be done, such as bone grafting before you get dental implants.


How many implants do you need for bottom dentures?

The number of implants required depends on factors like amount and quality of jaw bone, the design of artificial tooth used, and the chewing habits of the person.


The upper jaw is softer as compared to the lower jaw, which is very tough and strong. Therefore, the upper jaw will require a minimum of 4 implants for a full set of dentures. Depending on the condition of your mandible or the jaw bone, more implants may be required sometimes. 4-8 implants can be sufficient for upper jaw full denture. On the other hand, complete denture on the lower jaw can be installed over 2-4 implants.


Does food get under dental implants?


The dental implant is fused to the surrounding bone, and the crown of your artificial tooth would be in immediate contact with the implant. This leaves no space between the implant and the tooth; therefore, food cannot get under dental implants.


Why are dental implants bad?


Dental implants are an excellent choice for reimposing your missing teeth, but there are a few limitations associated with the use of dental implants. Installing dental implants is a surgical procedure, and adjacent structures are at risk of injury while drilling the socket in the jawbone. The surgical site may show poor healing and catch an infection, further worsening the condition. Such problems are more frequent in patients with diabetes or chronic gum diseases.


Further bone grafting may be required in some cases, which makes the procedure further complex and increases the risk of damage. However, with a skilled dentist at Conway House, the success rate of dental implants is almost 95-99%.


What is the best alternative to dentures?


A few other options can be used to restore your missing teeth if dentures seem complicated and unmanageable to you.


  • Dental implants
  • Dental bridges
  • Overdentures or permanent dentures


For any further assistance, contact your dentist, who will guide you about the various options. If you are searching for the best dentist in High Wycombe, who can address all your dental issues, visit Conway House Dental practice. A team of highly professional and friendly dentists who can transform your smile and boost your confidence with their skills in handling your teeth. For any queries, contact us on 01494526578, or leave an email at [email protected]


We are a friendly team of dentists, hygienists and receptionists who work together to ensure that you receive the best treatment you require.

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