What’s the difference between full-arch dental implants and dentures?
If you have damaged or missing teeth, life’s simple joys, such as smiling and eating, can turn stressful instead. Rather than suffering through another uncomfortable meal or avoiding social situations, what if you could find a solution that improved your comfort and appearance?
Both dentures and full-arch dental implants mimic the look of real teeth, but there are distinct differences between the two replacement options. Before determining your next steps, learn the basics about full arch-dental implants and dentures.
What are full-arch dental implants?
Dental implants are a secure, aesthetically pleasing, long-term solution for missing or damaged teeth that are causing chewing problems or insecurities. A dental implant can replace a single tooth; however, full-arch dental implants comprise a whole row of teeth, minimizing the number of implants required to support it.
Unlike dental bridges, which are secured to existing teeth, full-arch implants become part of the jawbone. They look and feel like real teeth, and they stay securely in place.
Beyond aesthetics, however, full-arch dental implants may have additional health benefits. They can help prevent jawbone density loss by stabilizing the area. Implants also promote normal function of the muscles, joints and nerves in the jaw, making it easier for you to chew, speak and — of course — smile.
What are dentures?
Much like full-arch dental implants, dentures replace missing teeth to create a more natural-looking appearance. But that is where the similarities stop. Because dentures are removable, often secured with glue, they can become loose and require regular adjustment.
There are several types of dentures — including conventional, partial, overdenture and snap-on — each with its own set of drawbacks.
Also known as traditional dentures, conventional dentures replace a full mouth of teeth. But they can only be used after the mouth heals from the preparation process, and that can take several months.
A partial denture, or dental bridge, uses metal framework and gum-colored plastic to hold the teeth in place. Partial dentures work when there are several good teeth still left on the jaw, and they ensure that healthy teeth stay in position, maintaining an intact jawline.
Overdentures and snap-ons work with salvageable teeth or implants, using them as support while fitting over the top. However, these dentures often look fake, and they may affect how the wearer chews and smiles.
Dentures have some major disadvantages. They can be uncomfortable and make wearers insecure due to slippage and irritation. Chewing and other normal functions can be more difficult if the dentures aren’t adhered properly. And, due to their removable nature, dentures require adjustment, which can be inconvenient and expensive.
Which option is right for you?
Everyone’s situation is unique. Ultimately the decision between dental implants and dentures comes down to your lifestyle, budget, and desire for transformative change.
Although dentures are often — incorrectly — deemed an affordable option, people who choose dentures may regret that decision in the long run. Discomfort, ill fit, slippage, and overall appearance make dentures an inferior choice for those looking for a long-term solution.
The more permanent of the two, full-arch dental implants act as real teeth, ensuring regular function of the jaw and creating a more natural aesthetic. They do require surgery; however, recovery takes only a few days, and the results are long-lasting — including the renewed self-esteem that comes with a healthy, natural-looking smile.
Before investing in either option, it’s important to consider all the pros and cons. Also know that some people are better candidates for full-arch dental implants than others.
Esteem Dental Implants can help
Having a mouth full of natural-looking teeth can make all the difference when it comes to improving your self-esteem and enjoying all your favorite activities. If you’re ready for a permanent solution that will affix a perpetual smile on your face — or you have more questions we can answer — then reach out to an Esteem Dental Implants doctor near you.