Are you missing an entire row of teeth or all of your teeth? Replacing missing teeth is very important to lifelong oral and overall health. Dr. Justin Deckard, a Washington DC dentist, offers patients the two main solutions for replacement:
Removable dentures have been the go-to option for edentulous patients for years. Today, dental implants are the next best option after your natural teeth. Even though teeth implants have been around for years, they have developed into a flexible and versatile solution for patients who have lost or damaged teeth. However, both options will deliver a better quality of life and restore your smile.
Dr. Deckard will examine your entire mouth and your health to help determine which option is best for you. If both are an option, he will review the pros and cons of each with you to aid in your decision.
Dental Implants vs. Dentures in Washington, DC
Below, we will compare the pros and cons of traditional denture treatment to dental implant-supported dentures.
Dentures are removable dental appliances custom-made to fit your mouth over the gums. They are made of a plastic plate that holds the fake teeth. Here are the pros and cons of choosing dentures to replace your teeth:
- They will help hold the natural shape of your face
- You will be able to speak and eat better than you could with missing teeth
- Modern dentures look similar to natural teeth but are still somewhat noticeable
- They are the least expensive option to replace teeth
- They are a quick fix (You can get a complete set of dentures in two to six weeks)
- The process of getting dentures is easy and does not involve surgery
- They take some time to get used to, and you will have to learn how to eat and speak with them in
- They have to be carefully and properly cleaned every day in addition to your regular oral hygiene routine
- If they do not fit properly, they can cause infections
- You will need to adjust or replace periodically due to changes in fit
- Possibility of slipping around in your mouth, causing slurred speech and falling out
- You may need adhesive to keep them in place in your mouth
- You will have to adjust your diet because you will not be able to bite into certain foods
- They will not replace the tooth root, and the patient will slowly suffer from bone loss in the jaw
Dental implants are referred to as the gold standard in teeth replacement today. As the next best option compared to your natural teeth, teeth implants offer many more benefits and are better for your health. For patients missing an entire arch of teeth, you will need four to eight implant posts surgically placed in your jawbone to secure a denture. Here are the pros and cons of choosing dental implant-secured dentures:
- They hold a 95% success rate
- The implant posts actually replace the teeth roots, preventing bone loss and holding the shape of your face
- They will restore normal chewing capacity with no food restrictions due to being more durable than removable dentures
- Since the dentist will surgically place them in the jawbone and will fuse with the surrounding bone, they are more secure so you won’t have to worry about them falling out, slipping around in your mouth, or affecting your speech
- Feel and function as if they were your natural teeth
- If cared for properly, this investment can last a lifetime
- It gives the patient an overall higher self-esteem
- They are significantly more expensive in the beginning compared to dentures
- The entire implant procedure can take four to nine months, sometimes longer, and need to make many visits to our Washington DC dentist’s office
- Involves having surgery and months of healing
Implants and Dentures Frequently Asked Questions
Is it easier to eat with dentures or implants?
Dental implants generally provide the best experience when it comes to eating. They function and feel similar to natural teeth. They also offer significant biting force and stability.
On the other hand, Dentures may sometimes move or slip in the mouth. This can make eating certain foods challenging. Consequently, dental implants are the best choice for the most natural and efficient eating experience.
How long do permanent implant dentures last?
Dental implants are a long-term solution for tooth loss. They can last for many years or a lifetime when patients care for them properly. However, the longevity of dental implants can vary. Factors such as oral hygiene, overall health, and lifestyle habits can increase the longevity of tooth implants.
Due to wear and tear, you will usually have to replace the crown every 10 to 15 years. However, the implant itself can last much longer. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices can significantly extend the life of dental implants.
Can you get implants after wearing dentures for 30 years?
You can consider dental implants even after wearing dentures for 30 years. However, long-term denture wear can sometimes lead to bone loss in the jaw. This bone is essential for implant placement. In such cases, additional procedures like bone grafts might be necessary to create a solid foundation for tooth implants. It’s best to have a detailed consultation with a dentist or oral surgeon to evaluate your suitability for implants.
How do you clean implant dentures?
You can use a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to clean implant dentures. However, you will use different techniques to floss for the best clean. We will teach you how to clean your dentures after you receive your final restoration.
Can you sleep with permanent dentures?
While sleeping with permanent dentures is possible, most dentists do not recommend it. Your gums and jaw need time to rest and recover from the pressure the dentures apply during the day. You should remove your dentures at night to clean them thoroughly. Removing them at night also helps maintain good oral hygiene.
However, patients can always wear implant-supported dentures, including in their sleep. It’s best to follow the advice of your dentist regarding your situation.
Can you remove implant dentures?
Some implant dentures are removable. Snap-on dentures use dental implants to stay in place but are removable. However, other types of implant dentures will stay in place. We will often recommend implant-supported dentures that are fixed and only removable by a dentist because they are the most stable option.
Request a Dental Appointment
Are you unsure if dentures or implants are right for you? You don’t have to choose! Request a consultation for an implant-secured denture online or call (202) 851-7554.
Learn More About Dental Implants