The Differences Between Dentures and Dental Implants

When you think of dentures, is your first thought of your elderly relatives with false teeth? Did you ever notice how they remove their dentures to clean, or for those will ill-fitting dentures they tend to slip and fall out during normal conversation? No one wants to experience the embarrassment of a denture accidentally slipping out and into your evening meal as you chat with your family. While dentures can often be temporarily secured with an adhesive, there is a more permanent solution for your missing teeth available in the form of dental implants. At our practice in Berkeley, CA we recommend dental implants as the ideal tooth replacement treatment.

Your Oral Health

When it comes to replacing missing teeth you’ll want a treatment that can repair the problem at the source instead of simply masking it. Dentures essentially are masking the underlying problem. While dentures can cover the worst of gaps in a smile, it does little to improve the conditions of the underlying bone, or restore your chewing function back to normal. What most people don’t realize is that even while wearing a denture gradual bone loss is occurring in all areas of the mouth wear teeth are missing. This process of bone loss or bone atrophy will continue indefinitely until there is almost no bone left to support a denture of any kind. While this atrophy process is taking place there is also a gradual collapse of the facial structures, thus adding to the aging process. Studies have shown that patients wearing partial or full dentures have only about 10% of the chewing function when compared to their original natural teeth. The result of this decreased chewing function is an unhealthy diet that is often lacking sufficient protein and raw vegetables and fruits.

With dental implants, there are no such worries. The purpose of this form of treatment is to create artificial teeth that can effectively replace your missing teeth and function like your original natural teeth. The process of osseointegration, integral to the success of dental implants, is what bonds the dental implant to the bone. Once implants are placed in the bone and replace the denture, whether it is a full or partial one, the bone loss or atrophy process comes to an immediate halt. Dental implants are permanent and durable, and if cared for properly have the ability to last a lifetime.

Stability and Reliability

With the process of osseointegration, dental implants are permanently embedded into the jawbone, making it dramatically more stable and secured than dentures or dental bridges. This stability is what ensures the same strength and bite pressure that a normal tooth could offer, whereas a denture would offer about 10% of the normal biting pressure.

Dental implants are also very durable, able to withstand all foods you love like crunchy, sticky, and tough foods. Since they are permanent, there’s little to no risk of the implant breaking or falling out. Dentures are mostly held up by an adhesive and can become loose or fall out. They also tend to get looser with time due to the ongoing bone loss that is taking place. Finally, dentures do need to be replaced every seven to eight years on average, and they also need to have periodic relines every two-three years. This can all be costly in the long run.

Easy Maintenance and Care

Another frustrating aspect of dentures that patients may not find appealing is the amount of maintenance that must be performed on dentures every day. The typical routine is to remove the dentures and thoroughly clean and scrub them, while others also submerge their denture in cleaning solution. If the denture is not cleaned, it can cause a build-up of food particles and harmful bacteria to fester, leading to conditions such as gingivitis or other periodontal disease.

Dental implants look and act like real teeth, and can be cleaned as such. It’s easy! All you need is a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and more. However, it’s still important to continue attending routine checkups for thorough dental cleanings, especially for your dental implant.

Trade In Your Dentures for Dental Implants

If you’re unsatisfied with the performance and fit of your dentures, don’t spend money on constant replacements or maintenance. A more permanent solution is available in the form of dental implants. For more information, contact the office of Anthony Dailley, DDS in Berkeley, CA and schedule a consultation with Dr. Dailley. During the consultation Dr. Dailley will be available to answer your questions, discuss your treatment options, and ultimately help determine if dental implants are best for you.