Dentures Can Cause Bone and Muscle Loss, Implants Don’t

Dentures vs. implants

Implants use advanced dental technology to provide many benefits dentures can’t.

Modern dentistry has come a long way, with advanced dental techniques and technologies that ensures everyone can achieve the smile of their dreams. Even if you need to replace all or most of your teeth, dental work, like a full mouth reconstruction, can provide the key to a smile that’s healthy, functional, and beautiful. Dentures and dental implants are the main ways to accomplish this by restoring one or both arches of your teeth.

Dentures have been a budget-friendly option for decades, but as technology improves, dental implants have become a more popular choice. In fact, they’re now widely recognized as the best teeth restoration treatment out there! They offer a wide range of benefits that dentures simply can’t, all while improving on or eliminating many of dentures’ well-known flaws. To help you learn more about both treatments and why many dentists recommend dental implants, we’ve broken down the differences between the two treatments.  

Dentures vs. Implants

Dentures and implants have the same goal of restoring the function, health, and appearance of missing teeth, but they go about accomplishing this in very different ways. Dentures consist of an acrylic base that extends over your upper or lower palate, is designed to look like your gums in terms of both shade and texture, and is set with acrylic resin teeth. 

You can get partial dentures that replace several missing teeth, dentures that replace a single arch, or full dentures. Partial dentures are generally fixed in place using clasps that are attached to nearby healthy teeth, while traditional dentures are generally held in place with suction generated between them and your palate.

In contrast, dental implants consist of a dental prosthetic that’s secured by one or more titanium metal rods. These rods are embedded directly into your jawbone to replace missing tooth roots, giving them the stability and permanence of natural teeth. A single implant is secured with a dental crown, while multiple implants can support a dental bridge as well as partial or full dentures.

One thing the two treatments have in common is that dentures and implants are both designed specifically for you. This ensures that they fit perfectly and are comfortable, and it also means you’re able to choose the shape, size, and shade of your new teeth to create a smile you’ll genuinely love.

Dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth.

Dental implants are the closest thing out there to natural teeth because they replace your entire tooth from root to cusp. Their placement in your jawbone makes implants incredibly unique and gives them an immediate leg up in the battle of dentures versus implants. Because implants don’t sit directly on your gums or lay against the roof of your mouth like dentures, you don’t have to worry about them making your gums sore or triggering your gag reflex. They simply feel comfortable and natural.

Implants don’t just feel like natural teeth; they also function just like them. Their placement in your jawbone gives them deep-rooted stability, preventing them from shifting in your mouth. This means you can eat whatever foods you want, from corn on the cob and whole apples to tough steak, without worrying about them. 

Beyond eating what you want, you’ll also be able to eat a healthier, more varied diet. Dentures that fit well shouldn’t shift in your mouth, but still, they don’t feel nearly as stable, and you need to be careful what you eat with them. Because of this, implants feel more natural and comfortable than dentures by a long shot, which is a massive advantage for many people! 

Plus, implants use cutting-edge technology to ensure they look completely natural so no one will realize you even have them.

Dental implants are easier to keep clean.

Taking care of dental implants is very simple, usually involving sticking to a great oral hygiene routine. This should include brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and using mouthwash daily. Depending on the type of restoration you have attached to your implants, you may also need to use a specialized brush to clean the gums underneath it to keep them healthy, but this is a quick process. 

It isn’t much different from how you care for natural teeth, and it’s much simpler than caring for dentures, which require specialized care, including cleaning products, and are prone to issues like food particle accumulation. The ease of caring for implants makes it a simpler habit to build and stick to. As a result, it helps you prevent oral health issues, like periodontitis and further tooth loss.

Dental implants don’t run the risk of getting lost or damaged.

Since dental implants are fixed in place in your mouth like natural teeth, you don’t have to take them out like you do with dentures. This means there’s no risk of losing them. Similarly, while dentures have a reputation for being a beloved chew toy alternative for dogs that manage to get ahold of them, you don’t have to worry about this with implants. 

Any time your dentures are lost, damaged, or destroyed, it costs you time and money to replace them. Implants not only save you this time and money, but they save you from having to worry about the possibility in the first place.

While the dental restorations on top of your implants can still get damaged, they’re about as strong as your natural teeth. All you need to do to protect them is treat them with the same care you give your natural teeth, such as by avoiding using them as tools to tear open packaging or crack nuts. This protects them from damage and gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your restorations are built to last.

Dental implants stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss.

By replacing your natural tooth roots, dental implants also take on the jobs they normally carry out. This goes beyond offering stability; it involves keeping your jawbone itself healthy. Tooth roots stimulate your jawbone to continue sending nutrients to the area, keeping it strong and healthy. When you lose a tooth, you also lose that stimulation. 

Other restorations, like dentures, can’t replace that, either, so they can’t stop bone loss in your jaw. In fact, dentures tend to exacerbate it by causing additional bone loss on the ridge of bone they sit over. The resulting bone and muscle loss over time actually changes your facial structure. It’s what gives long-term denture wearers that stereotypical appearance where their mouths look a little caved in.

Thankfully, implants completely avoid this! Since they replace your tooth roots instead of just the cusp of your tooth, they provide the stimulation your jawbone needs to stay healthy. Titanium even encourages bone growth, so implants can reverse small amounts of bone loss. This unique benefit is one that only implants provide, and it protects the health of your jawbone for a lifetime! Even better, implants have a success rate between 98% and 99%, which is high for any medical intervention.

Dental implants provide lifelong results.

When you take good care of your dental implants with a great oral hygiene routine, they will last you a lifetime. The restorations on top of them may eventually need to be replaced due to wear and tear, but this is a rare occurrence, and the implant itself will never need to be replaced. In contrast, dentures need constant care. The bone loss in your jaws changes the way your dentures fit, so you need to make an appointment to see if they need to be adjusted every year.

The dentures themselves don’t last long, either, generally needing to be replaced every five to 10 years. The expenses of denture maintenance and replacement add up over the years. With implants, you don’t have to worry about long-term costs like this! You can simply enjoy the way your implants transform the function, health, and appearance of your smile for a lifetime.

While dentures and dental implants both provide solutions for missing teeth, the unique benefits that implants provide make it easy to see why they’re recognized as the winner in the dentures versus implants debate. If you’d like to learn more about dental work for teeth restorations or would like to see examples of dental implants before and after from dentists in Newport Beach, feel free to schedule a consultation at any time.