Missing teeth can impact both smile aesthetics and functionality. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers various treatment options to replace missing teeth and restore your smile. Whether you’re considering replacing a single missing tooth or multiple teeth or trying to decide between dental implants vs dentures, we’re here to help. Read on to find out more about dental implants and dentures with our comprehensive guide to help you begin your smile and oral health journey.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a fixed and long-term solution to one or more missing teeth. It involves inserting artificial tooth roots made of titanium in the jawbone. The implants integrate with the jawbone in a few weeks, providing a secure and stable foundation for your new prosthetic teeth.
Before getting a dental implant, you will need a consultation to determine your eligibility for the procedure. Some patients may need a bone graft before getting an implant because of low bone density. This is because the success of a dental implant relies on having sufficient bone density to support the new tooth. People with periodontal disease or other systemic health conditions such as cancer or autoimmune diseases which hinder healing may also not be suitable candidates for a dental implant.
The dental implant process takes a couple of weeks and can be divided into several steps:
- Insertion of the titanium screws
- Osseointegration or fusing of the implants with the surrounding bone
- Abutment attachment to the implant
- Placement of the replacement tooth (crown, bridge or denture) on the abutment
This process can take several weeks or months and depends on your healing capacity, as the artificial teeth can only be attached after implant integration.
At Superior Smiles, we offer personalised treatment plans tailored to your dental needs. Whether you’re looking for a single tooth implant, fixed implant bridge or full mouth bridge, our friendly dentists can help guide you with evidence based diagnosis and honest recommendations.
If you want to restore lost gum tissue and bone, improving functionality, oral health, and aesthetics, you can talk to our dentists for more information on full mouth rehabilitation. This procedure works in conjunction with multiple procedures for a complete restoration of worn teeth, jaw, gums, and other mouth and facial structures.
Pros of Dental Implants
Some of the benefits of dental implants include:
- Lasting & Durable – Dental implants can last for years, even a lifetime, with the proper care and maintenance. They are easy to maintain, needing no special care other than good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups to prevent plaque or tartar buildup.
- Improved Functionality – Missing teeth can affect your bite and ability to speak clearly. Dental implants function like natural teeth, filling the gap left by missing teeth to improve chewing and speaking.
- Enhanced Aesthetics – Whether you’re looking to replace one or multiple teeth, back or front, dental implants provide a natural-looking, comfortable solution to enhance aesthetics and restore your smile.
- Prevent Bone Loss – Dental implants integrate with your existing jawbone, preventing further bone loss and preserving your facial profile for a more aesthetically pleasing look.
- Convenience and Comfort – Unlike removable dentures, which require adhesives or clasps for support, dental implants are fixed in the jawbone. This eliminates the need for removal and reduces the inconvenience and discomfort associated with traditional dentures.
- Preserves Adjacent Teeth – Traditional tooth-supported bridges require the adjacent teeth to be filed down and used as anchors. With dental implants, neighbouring teeth are not affected or altered. This preserves the integrity of your natural teeth and avoids unnecessary dental work on healthy teeth.
Cons of Dental Implants
Some of the cons of dental implants include:
- Cost – Dental implants tend to be more expensive than other tooth replacement options. Additional costs, such as bone grafting before surgery if required, can add to the cost. But since dental implants are extremely durable and long-lasting, the benefits far outweigh the expense involved.
- Surgical Procedure – Dental implants are a surgical and invasive procedure. This may not sit well with patients who want a less invasive or time-intensive treatment.
What are dentures?
Dentures are removable prosthetic devices used to replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They are designed to resemble natural teeth and provide functionality for chewing and speaking. Dentures can be used to replace a few missing teeth (partial dentures) or a full set of teeth (complete dentures).
Complete Dentures are used when all teeth in the upper or lower jaw are missing. They consist of a flesh-coloured acrylic base that fits over the gums and is custom-made to fit your mouth, relying on suction or adhesive to stay in place.
Partial Dentures are used when some natural teeth remain in the jaw. They consist of replacement teeth attached to a metal or acrylic framework that matches the colour of the gums. The framework may have clasps or connectors that attach to the remaining natural teeth, providing stability and support and are removable.
At Superior Smiles, we offer a range of options to suit your needs and preferences. If you don’t like clasps and a metal look, you can ask our dentists about Valplast Dentures with no metal or clasps. Or if you’re looking for a more stable option, an implant retained denture for your lower teeth may be an excellent choice. You can also get an instant and cost-effective smile makeover with our Snap-on Smile treatment. We understand each patient is different with unique smile needs. This is why we strive to provide bespoke options that align with your lifestyle and comfort.
Pros of Dentures
Some of the benefits of dentures include:
- Affordable – Dentures are generally more affordable compared to dental implants or other restorative options.
- Non-Invasive – Unlike dental implants, getting dentures does not require surgery or invasive procedures. The process involves taking impressions of the mouth and creating custom-made prosthetic teeth that can be easily inserted and removed without surgery.
- Restores Functionality – Dentures help restore the ability to chew, bite, and speak without difficulty.
- Aesthetics – Dentures are designed to resemble natural teeth, providing a pleasing aesthetic appearance.
Cons of Dentures
Some of the cons of dentures include:
- Frequent Replacements – Dentures may need replacements at the end of their lifespan or when they wear down.
- Adjustments – Dentures may need to be adjusted as teeth shift and change position. If they don’t fit properly or become loose, dentures irritate your gums, slip and increase the risk of infection.
- Adaptation Period – It takes time to adjust to wearing dentures. Initially, they may feel bulky or uncomfortable in the mouth, and it can take several weeks to get used to speaking, chewing, and swallowing with dentures.
- Don’t prevent jawbone deterioration – While dentures may support the bone, they do not provide direct stimulation or stability to the jawbone as implants do to prevent jawbone deterioration.
What to Consider When Choosing Dental Implants vs Dentures
Both dental implants and dentures offer specific advantages and disadvantages. The treatment you choose depends on your dental needs, overall health, preference, lifestyle and budget. While dental implants provide superior durability and aesthetics, modern dentistry provides options like implant-supported dentures, quality denture material and customised fittings for exceptional results.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing between dental implants and dentures:
Longevity and Durability
Dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution and can last for many years, potentially even a lifetime, with proper care. Dentures, on the other hand, typically have a shorter lifespan and may require replacement or adjustment every 5 to 10 years.
Functionality and Stability
Dental implants closely mimic the function of natural teeth. They are anchored in the jawbone, allowing for a stronger and more natural bite because of the stability. Dentures, while offering functional benefits, may have some limitations in terms of stability and chewing ability.
Dental implants offer a natural appearance that closely resembles natural teeth. They are custom-made to match your existing teeth, providing a seamless and aesthetically pleasing result. Dentures, while also designed to look natural, may not offer the same level of aesthetic integration.
Dental implants help preserve jawbone health by stimulating the bone and preventing bone loss. Dentures do not provide the same level of stimulation to the jawbone and may not prevent bone resorption.
Maintenance and Care
Dental implants only need regular brushing, flossing and routine dental cleaning to be maintained. Dentures require specific cleaning routines and may need to be removed for cleaning and soaking.
Dental implants are generally more expensive upfront compared to dentures. Dentures tend to be more cost-effective in the short term. Considering your budget and insurance coverage is vital when making a decision.
Dental implants require a certain amount of healthy jawbone for successful placement, whereas dentures can be a suitable option for patients with low bone volume.
Smile Restoration Options Customised for You
At our Fremantle Clinic, we’re dedicated to creating smiles as beautiful as you. We understand each smile is a reflection of the owner’s personality with unique requirements and nuances to make it complete. As such, our dentists take a personalised approach, taking the time to understand your oral health, lifestyle, and aesthetic goals for a smile you can own. With a comprehensive range of dental services, from general and holistic dental to maintain your oral and overall health to cosmetic and major dentistry to restore your healthy smile, our dentists are your oral care partners for life. Book a consultation today.