Dental implants are the highest standard of care in prosthodontics and replacing missing teeth. They look like teeth, they function like teeth, and you don’t have to put them in or take them out: no one has to know that you have them!
But just because implants get a gold star from dentists doesn’t mean that dentures aren’t a worthy treatment. Dentures have been around for a long time in one form or another, and we suspect they will be around a while longer yet.
If you’re making the choice between dentures and implants, these are some factors to consider.
- Dental implants are costlier. Furthermore, most dental insurance plans won’t cover 100% of the implant treatment.
If you think that you may need to restore a full arch one day, saving for a dental implant might be a good idea. Of course, you can always take advantage of Summit Dental Center’s low-cost financing options as well. Most patients don’t think about the day they may have to lose all their teeth. In this situation, when the need for an immediate prosthetic solution arises, a denture may be the more practical financial option.
- Dental implants require more time because the full procedure, from initial consultation to after-care, takes a few appointments with your dentist.
After the implants have been placed, it can take as longer than nine months for them to heal and bond to the bone. That means nine more months without permanent teeth in that area (you will get to wear a temporary prosthesis while you heal, though).
While we believe that all the visits are worth it in the end, not everyone’s schedule can handle all the back and forth. If you have kids that you are still chauffeuring around, or parents you are trying to care for, the extra appointments might not be worth it to you at this time.
- Not everyone is eligible for implants. Patients who are undergoing or have undergone certain cancer treatments, who are smokers, or have poor bone structure in their jaw may not be able to receive dental implants because of the amount of healing and bone support that is necessary. In these cases, dentures can give the patient the ability to chew and speak as normal without the need for surgery.
If you’re still hesitant about getting dentures, but just aren’t able to afford implants yet, think about this: Dentures aren’t permanent. Most people have their dentures replaced one or more times due to wear and tear and the changing shape of the mouth. So, if you need a prosthetic now, but can’t get the implants, get a denture and save your money for the dental implants you want when your denture needs to be adjusted or replaced.
What About Poor Fitting Dentures?
It’s true that there are dentures that fit badly. At Summit Dental Center, we hope that none of our Houston patients live with a poorly fitted denture. Such a prosthesis can cause pain and embarrassment!
If you are looking for a dentist in the Houston area to make and fit your dentures, look for a dentist with lots of experience with full-mouth restoration. A dentist who primarily places implants may not be practiced in the different methods used to match the gum tissue and texture, or to correct the shape of the denture underneath. Choose a dentist who has the experience with removable prosthetics, so that your denture will fit right without rubbing, clicking, or sliding around.
If you already have dentures but they aren’t fitting right, you may need to have them repaired or replaced. We can more than likely take care of this need at Summit Dental Center, too.
A Compromise Between Two Great Treatments
Finally, if you need either an implant or dentures, but are having a hard time deciding, there is an option that meets in the middle. Using a few strategically placed implants, your Summit Dentist can create a stable anchor to attach a denture over. In this option, you get the best of both worlds: implants to strengthen your denture fit and add support, plus a removable (yet stabilized) set of new teeth.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy
Regardless of whether you choose dental implants or dentures, you still have to practice good dental hygiene. In fact, brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash becomes all the more important when you have a separate appliance in your mouth.
Don’t forget to make and keep your six-month checkup appointments at Summit Dental Center in Houston. We look forward to serving you, no matter what your dental needs are!