Dental Implants or Dentures? Which Is Best?
If you’ve lost some or all of your teeth, you may face daily struggles like discomfort chewing foods and difficulty enunciating words. And because the teeth support and fill out the cheeks and lips, missing teeth can lead to a more aged appearance and thus, lower self-confidence.
At Kleinheinz Dentistry in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Jeffrey S. Kleinheinz and Dr. Katrina Ashlin educate you on the benefits and downsides of dental implants vs. dentures. Dental implants replace the roots of the teeth, and they can secure different types of restorations such as dentures and bridges in place.
According to a clinical trial published by the British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, dentures retained with dental implants were a more satisfactory solution than traditional dentures. One distinct advantage that implant-supported restorations have over dentures is the protection against jawbone atrophy.
During the first year after tooth extraction, a loss of bone width (25%) and height (4 mm) can be anticipated and will continue over time. The same is true of tooth loss in general.
A healthy jawbone is essential to maintaining natural chewing and biting forces. When we chew, the roots of the teeth stimulate the body to continue to deliver blood supply and bone-strengthening minerals to the area. This keeps the jawbone strong and healthy.
In contrast, when the tooth roots are missing, there is no trigger telling the body to continue mineral delivery to the jaw. The jawbone will deteriorate over time, becoming brittle and weak. Since dentures are not anchored in the jaw, jawbone atrophy is inevitable.
Dental implants are considered a long-term tooth replacement option. The Journal of Dental Research reports that various studies find dental implants to have success rates in the high 80 to high 90 percentiles, depending on the number of implants placed, study duration period, and a number of other factors. However, the prosthetic crown, bridge, or denture attached to an implant will need replacement if it wears down or sustains other damage.
Complete dentures last 10 years or more before needing to be replaced (with proper care), and the risk of damage and breakage increases with denture age. Older, eroded dentures don’t last as long and can feel looser than freshly-fitted dentures. Denture relining is considered essential maintenance. Repairs and relining can be done by a dentist.
Risk of Complications
It’s important to note that implants are not suitable for everyone, and some characteristics may increase the likelihood of failure. If you have any predictors of failure, your doctor may recommend traditional dentures so that you avoid complications and disappointment.
Predictors of failure include:
- Advanced age
- Cavities or infection in other teeth
- Chronic periodontitis
- Location of implants
- Poor bone quality
- Poor potential for osseointegration
- Poorly designed prosthetic
- Systemic diseases
In addition to bone atrophy, the most common complications from dentures are related to how they fit. Ill-fitting dentures can lead to:
- Dentures slipping or moving, which may make speaking and eating more difficult
- Sores forming on the gums
- Frustration and embarrassment
Visit Us in Charlotte
Both dentures and dental implants are good options to replace teeth. In comparison to traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures protect bone health, tend to have a longer lifespan, and have a lower risk of difficulties.
The team at Kleinheinz Dental is happy to help you decide which tooth replacement method may be most beneficial for your health and lifestyle. Call (704) 542-6003 or message us online today to schedule a consultation at our Charlotte, NC, office.