Dentures vs. Dental Implants: A Dentist Weighs In

Jan 3, 2018

If you’re trying to decide whether dentures or implants would be a better option to replace your missing teeth, there’s a good chance that you’re overwhelmed with information! As with everything else, there are pros and cons to each choice, but it can be hard to sift through it all. You may even have friends who have first-hand experience with these dental treatments and have given you their advice. But if you’d like to get a professional opinion about whether dentures or implants are better, a dentist in St. Peter explains this topic in a straightforward way.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dentures?

While not exhaustive, here are some of the best (and worst) things about wearing dentures:

Pros

  • You don’t need to have any surgery beyond the initial extraction of teeth.
  • Dentures cost less than implants.
  • This option allows you to have replacement teeth while you’re healing directly after extractions.

Cons

  • Dentures can cost more money over time since they need to be replaced every 5-10 years.
  • Dentures don’t replace the roots of your teeth, causing your jaw to shrink over time. In addition, the appearance of your face will change and your dentures will periodically need re-fitting.
  • You won’t be able to eat certain foods like steak or corn on the cob because you won’t have the same chewing ability. You may also experience “slipping” when eating or talking.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?

Here are a few things you can expect from getting implants to restore your teeth:

Pros

  • Dental implants replace both the root and crown portion of your teeth, which provides superior chewing ability and stability. It also prevents bone loss.
  • You can expect implants to last 20 years or more.
  • Implants can be used in a variety of ways to replace one, several, or all of your teeth. For example, an implant-retained denture can offer much greater stability than a traditional denture alone.
  • Implants will feel and function like your own teeth.

Cons

  • The initial cost is higher.
  • It takes 3-6 months to complete the first phase of the procedure, which is when the titanium post (or root portion of the implant) will heal.

What Other Considerations Are There?

The real test of what your dentist would recommend is what they would choose for themselves or their families. It’s fair to say the vast majority (if not all) dentists would prefer implants instead of dentures.

Of course, there are always exceptions to any rule, which is why a consultation with your dentist is a great place to start. They can look at your specific case and weigh your goals with other considerations like your age, budget and lifestyle.

The great thing about modern dentistry is that you have choices. It’s even better when you’re able to make informed choices about what’s right for you and your health.

About the Author

Dr. Jennifer Miller is a St. Peter native with nearly 15 years of experience as a general, cosmetic and implant dentist. Continually staying on top of new techniques and practices, she strives to offer her patients a combination of modern dentistry along with old-fashioned care and compassion. She can be reached for questions through this website, or at (507) 934-3332.

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