If you’re looking to replace a missing tooth (or multiple teeth) then dentures are a good option to consider.
However, the term “denture” may cause some confusion for many. Because if you search around online for dentures, you’ll find a number of references to “denture implants”. And you might think that dentures implants are basically the same thing as dentures. However, that’s not the case. Dentures and denture implants are not the same and, in this article, we try to clear up the confusion. And, by the end, you’ll have a good understanding how these two similar sounding things are quite different.
Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that are removable. Full dentures replace the entire arch of teeth on either the top of bottom of your mouth. On the other hand, partial dentures are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth but leave your remaining teeth as is. You can get a more detailed overview of what dentures are here.
Denture implants are different. They refer to what are often called dental implants. They are tooth replacement options that are more permanent in nature. The implant is surgically embedded in the jawbone and will eventually fuse with the bone. Once that happens a replacement tooth is attached to the implant.
Dentures vs Denture (Dental) Implants
Let’s take a look at some of the major differences between dentures and denture implants.
This is definitely one of the major differences between the two. Denture implants are much more expensive than dentures because they involve surgery. Replacing a single tooth with an implant can cost around $4000 on average. A full set of implants costs anywhere from $24,000 to around $100,000.
Comparatively, dentures are much more affordable. They generally cost between $500 and $5000 per arch. Most commonly they’ll be somewhere in the $1000 – $1500 per arch range. If you need full set (top and bottom arches, you can double the averages above).
How They Look
Dental implants usually are made of the best materials and have the most realistic look to them. Dentures may not look quite as good as implants. Though, over the last few years, things have gotten better and it’s getting harder and harder to tell when someone is wearing dentures.
Dental implants are generally considered a long term, if not permanent solution. You can expect them to last at least 20 years, if not more. Dentures on the other hand need to be replaced fairly frequently. Figure on getting new ones every 5 years or so.
As mentioned above, getting implants requires surgery. That means anesthesia, needles and more. If that bothers you, then dentures may be a better option as no surgery is required to get dentures (though some tooth extractions may be necessary). For dentures, you get an impression of your mouth, the custom dentures are made for you and you slip them on. No needles or surgery needed.
Dentures can weaken the real teeth surrounding them. This is due to dentures need to rely on those real teeth for support. Because implants are embedded in the bone, that won’t be an issue with them.
Dentures need to be removed and cleaned regularly. Implants do not. Implants just require the regular maintenance required with regular teeth. Mainly brushing, flossing and regular trips to the dentist.