Missing teeth pose numerous problems including change of appearance of face and compromised function. As soon as natural teeth are lost, the smile undergoes drastic changes that negatively affect facial aesthetics and teeth function. This is the reason why it’s crucial to solve missing teeth problems as soon as possible.
So, are implant dentures better than regular dentures? Dentures and dental implants are some of the solutions for missing teeth. Dentures are quick replacements for loss of teeth; however, it can be difficult to stabilize them and hence they can move unintentionally and cause problems when speaking or eating. On the other hand, dental implants replace the role of teeth roots and are securely attached to the jawbone providing stable retention– but the implant placement procedure takes longer.
What if there’s a way to bring together the advantages of dental implants and dentures while also resolving the issues that both options present? Implant-supported dentures may just be the missing teeth solutions that you are looking for and can bring back the health and beauty of your smile after tooth loss.
What are Implant Dentures?
Implant dentures involve the use of dental implants, creating a strong foundation for the dentures (can) to be attached. This method uses dental implants to ensure the secure attachment of the dentures to the jawbone, resolving the problems with fit that are more commonly associated with conventional denture use.
Denture Implants. Advantages of Implant-Supported Dentures
- Secure Attachment to the Jaw – Implant-supported dentures (or denture implants) are firmly attached to the jawbone because of the dental implants. They will not accidentally move when eating or speaking, unlike regular dentures that can unintentionally shift. Implant dentures can be removable, allowing detachment for teeth cleaning and before sleeping. They can also be non-removable, in which case they are permanently attached to the jawbone and can only be removed, if necessary, by a dentist.
- Feels Naturally Comfortable – As implant dentures are attached securely to the jaw, they comfortably sit in the mouth just like natural teeth. High-quality implant dentures do not look and feel bulky, unlike some regular dentures that can have an awkward fit.
- Prevent Bone Deterioration – Dental implants stimulate the bone, making it possible to prevent or stop further bone deterioration due to tooth loss. This is not possible when using regular dentures because they are not attached to the jaw and do not cause any stimulation to the bone tissue, which is needed to prevent bone thinning.
- Stronger Biting Force – The secure attachment of implant dentures to the jawbone makes it possible for the biting force to be stronger compared to using regular dentures. The teeth restorations will feel like normal teeth that can be used to bite and chew on food in a normal manner.
- Normal Speaking – The speech problems that may be experienced with regular dentures will not be an issue with implant-supported dentures. Since they are firmly attached to the jaw, implant dentures will not move while speaking, allowing normal speech without worries that the teeth restoration will move with every word.
Disadvantages of Implant Dentures
- Requires Surgery – The dental implants that are used to hold the dentures firmly in place will need to be placed into the jawbone using a surgical procedure. The surgical method involves the use of a local anaesthetic and a short period of downtime afterwards but is a completely safe procedure at Artisan Implants in Blackheath.
- Higher Cost Compared to Regular Dentures – The dental implant used, and surgical placement of dental implants contribute to the higher cost of implant-supported dentures compared to regular dentures.
- Take Longer to be Completed – Implant dentures generally take longer to be completed compared to conventional dentures. This is because the implants will need to heal first before they can support the dentures to solve missing teeth problems.
What are Regular Dentures?
Regular dentures are composed of acrylic teeth, the number depending on how many natural teeth need to be replaced, that are attached to an acrylic or metal base. The teeth restoration is placed on top of the gums so that the smile looks complete and functions properly once more. Complete dentures replace all the lost teeth in a given arch (lower or upper), while partial dentures consist of replacement of missing teeth to close a gap in the smile.
Advantages of Dentures
- Quick Solutions to Missing Teeth – Dentures can be made relatively quickly, offering missing teeth solutions without the long wait. Depending on the case, they can be placed on the same day that the teeth are extracted, or sometimes after a period of gum healing.
- No Invasive Procedure Involved – Regular dentures are created in a dental laboratory and are designed to sit on top of the gums to replace lost teeth. They are not attached to the gums or jawbone, so they do not require invasive or surgical procedures for the treatment to be completed.
- Convenient Use – Dentures can easily be placed on the gums to bring back the healthy use and appearance of a smile that has deteriorated due to tooth loss. They can be removed whenever necessary, such as when cleaning the teeth and before going to sleep.
- Lower Cost Compared to Dental Implants – Without surgery or invasive methods involved, regular dentures cost significantly lower compared to dental implants. The number of visits required to complete the treatment is fewer as well, resulting in reduced overall expenses than an implant treatment.
Disadvantages of Regular Dentures
- May Move While Eating or Speaking – The removable nature of dentures makes them susceptible to unintentional movement inside the mouth. This is especially true with ill-fitting dentures, which tend to move while speaking and negatively affect normal speech. Dentures that move can also make eating more difficult.
- Can Loosen and Become Uncomfortable Over Time – Dentures sit on top of the gums and do not address the deterioration of the jawbone. As the bone gets even thinner, the dentures that once fit tightly over the gums will continuously loosen. This results in discomfort and embarrassment as the dentures begin to move uncontrollably when the mouth moves, such as when speaking or chewing.
- Does Not Address Bone Deterioration actually accelerate the process – Unlike dental implants, regular dentures do not address the problems with the bone deterioration that occurs with tooth loss. Dentures are designed to sit on the gums and do not stimulate the jawbone underneath, so the bone continues to atrophy as time goes by. Wearing regular dentures actually accelerate the process of bone recession.
What are the Alternatives for Dentures Supported with Implants?
- Teeth In a Day – this treatment uses four to six dental implants to restore the function of the teeth in a lower or upper arch. Within the same day, the removal (by extraction) of failing or damaged teeth is done along with the insertion of dental implants and attachment of temporary teeth, hence the name. It is also referred to as “same day teeth” or “all on 4”.
- Dental Bridge – a dental bridge is composed of a few artificial teeth (corresponding to how many teeth are missing or failing) that are held in place by an attachment to the healthy teeth on both sides of the gap. It closes the space that is caused by tooth loss.
- Mini Dental Implants – much smaller than conventional implants, these can be placed using a minimally invasive procedure that shortens the overall treatment time. Mini implants are ideal for jawbone structures that have thinned or are not robust enough to support conventional dental implants.
- No Treatment – without any treatment, the tooth loss problem will only worsen in time. Aside from the functional challenges (such as speaking or chewing difficulties) that come with missing teeth, the jawbone will also deteriorate and resorb and cause the facial changes.
Takeaway: Implant dentures are better than regular dentures if you’re looking for missing teeth solutions that look natural, feel comfortable, will not shift in an embarrassing way, and will stop jawbone thinning.
At Artisan Implants in London, we use MEGAGEN Implants, offering ground-breaking solutions for missing teeth.