Are dentures better than implants?
Missing Teeth

Are dentures better than implants?

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Dentures could be the right solution to replace your missing teeth. Find out how they work, how long they last and how they stack up against dental implants.

5 minute read

Good health goes a long way to assuring your quality of life, and that includes your physical, mental and social wellbeing collectively.

Living with tooth loss can impact on your ability to chew and speak normally, and as two fundamental functions of everyday life, they can negatively impact on mental and social health as well as oral health.

No matter your age, replacing missing teeth can help to significantly improve your oral health. If you suffer from tooth loss and you’re considering dentures or dental implants, weigh up the pros and cons in this article and speak to an experienced dentist, at EVP Dental about the right treatment for your needs.

What are my options?

Dentistry is constantly evolving as advances in dental technology and medical discoveries are made every day. Teeth are as individual as people are and there isn’t always one treatment solution for everyone.

In fact, there are a range of treatment options available to replace missing teeth, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The major choice comes down to using prosthetic dentures alone, or using one supported by dental implants.

Making the right choice for your needs will depend on the condition of your teeth, gums and jaw bone, how many teeth you need replacing, your medical history, your budget and other lifestyle factors. At EVP Dental, the treatment options available for replacing multiple missing teeth are:

Dentures

Cost: $1800 to $4000

A denture is a removable appliance that can replace some or all of your missing teeth. Full dentures are used when all teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when natural teeth are healthy and present.

While dentures can take some getting used to, they no longer carry the stigma of bulky, loose-fitting prosthetics of the past. Dentures that have been custom-designed by a highly experienced Prosthetist or dental technician can be an economic and natural-looking solution for replacing teeth.

The frame of a denture and the teeth are made out of high-quality acrylic material that is custom-made to rest on the gums using suction. Dentures can restore your ability to eat and speak and can help you regain your smile

Pros of Dentures

  • Cheaper than implants, dentures are often the most affordable option
  • Dentures can be trial-tested, whereas implants cannot
  • Dentures can easily be adjusted and fixed if damaged
  • Can replace as many teeth as possible
  • Dentures don’t require surgery (only extractions if natural teeth remain and full dentures are needed)
  • Shorter healing time than implants because there is no surgery

 

Cons of Dentures

  • Dentures look less natural than implants
  • Full dentures reply on suction and can come loose
  • Not as strong as implants are
  • Restrict your ability to eat certain foods
  • Upper dentures can limit taste because it covers the palate
  • Needs to be removed before bed each night
  • Needs to be replaced or relined every 2 to 5 years
  • Won’t help prevent bone loss like dental implants will
  • Can cause a sagging or aged facial appearance over time as jaw bone shrinks

 

Implant-retained dentures

Cost: $8000 to $15,000

Your dentist may recommend a denture, dental implants or a combination of both depending on the location of the missing teeth in the mouth. An implant-retained or clip-on denture is a full denture that is retained using dental implants that have been surgically placed in the jaw. Like suction dentures, a clip-on denture needs to be removed each night before bed.

  • Implant-retained dentures offers better stability than removable dentures
  • Support the jaw by preventing bone loss and jaw shrinkage
  • More durable than suction dentures, so you can enjoy a wider and more nutritional variety of food

Many patients have reported that upper arch dentures are easier to tolerate than lower dentures because they cover the entire palate with adequate suction and stay in place. There’s less suction and contact on the lower arch of teeth and a removable denture may shift around.

Full mouth dental implants are the most secure and durable option for replacing missing teeth, but they’re also the most expensive option. If you’re less flexible on cost, your dentist may recommend an implant-retained denture for the lower arch of teeth and a suction denture for the upper arch. Alternatively, you may be recommended implant-retained dentures for both arches.

Need more info on implants? Visit our dedicated implants website:  perthdentalimplantcentre.com.au or contact EVP Dental today.

Fixed Dental Implant Bridges

Cost: $18000 per arch / $34000 for both

Fixed dental implant bridges (a.k.a. full mouth dental implants) are considered the gold standard for replacing missing teeth in a healthy individual. Unlike implant-retained dentures, fixed dental implant bridges stay in place permanently and only need to be removed for professional cleaning appointments or replacement.

An implant is a titanium screw that replaces the root or non-visible part of your tooth in the same way a dental crown replaces the visible part of a tooth. The implant lies under the gum line and is embedded in the jaw bone offering additional support to an artificial tooth. Rather than using one implant per tooth, fixed dental implant bridges can replace a partial or full arch using 4 to 6 dental implants.

Once dental implants are placed, they are left to osseo-integrate with the jaw bone. This healing process can take between 3 to 6 months (or longer if a bone grafting procedure is required). Once the implants are well integrated, abutments are screwed onto the implants and connected to prosthetic teeth.

With a good oral hygiene routine and regular check-ups, dental implants can last a lifetime while the prosthetic teeth attached to those implants may last anywhere between 5 to 15 years depending on the tooth materials used, the biting forces of the patient and how well they are cared for.

Pros of Fixed Dental Implant Bridges

  • Closest thing to natural teeth as possible, looking, feeling and functioning just like real teeth
  • Stay in place, cannot and will not dislodge
  • Chew normally and consume a wider variety of food
  • Don’t need to be removed every night for cleaning
  • Doesn’t need an adhesive to keep them in place
  • Won’t impede your speech like dentures can
  • Require the same daily brushing and flossing like natural teeth do
  • Prevents bone shrinkage and preserves your jaw line

Cons of Fixed Dental Implant Bridges

  • Dental implant treatment, maintenance and repairs cost more than dentures
  • Involves oral surgery and associated clinical risks
  • Longer treatment time
  • Longer healing time

Got a question about fixed dental implant bridges? Contact EVP Dental on (08) 9470 3944 or schedule a consultation online.

 

Dental Bridges

Cost: $3000 - $5000 for a 3-unit bridge

A dental bridge is a prosthetic bridge of teeth used to replace one or more teeth in a row and is anchored to neighbouring health teeth on either side of a gap. Rather than being supported by implants in the jaw, they are supported by existing teeth that are strengthened using dental crowns.

 

Pros of Dental Bridges

  • Cheaper than fixed implant bridges
  • Prevent teeth from shifting into the gap
  • Doesn’t require oral surgery

 

Cons of Dental Bridges

  • May fail if anchoring teeth are affected by decay
  • Requires adjacent teeth to be prepared for crowns
  • Increased risk of sensitivity or nerve damage of the supporting crowns
  • Doesn't support the jaw bone like an implant does

 

How to choose what's right for you

The treatment you choose to restore your smile and replace missing teeth is a big decision, one that should be made carefully. A number of factors that determine your eligibility and whether dentures are right for you, including:

  • Cost of treatment
  • Number of teeth to be replaced
  • Appearance
  • Commitment to oral hygiene
  • Amount and quality of existing jaw bone
  • Location of the implants in the mouth
  • Previous implant or denture history
  • Smoking habits
  • Health of existing teeth, gums and soft tissues
  • Pre-existing medical conditions

Patients with uncontrolled diabetes and those who smoke are generally considered poor candidates for dental implants as they are more likely to fail.

Jaw bone quality

Another factor to consider whether comparing dentures and implants is your jaw bone quality. If there’s not enough jaw bone to support the implant it can fail, this is where a bone grafting procedure can be done during surgery to build up enough bone to successfully anchor the implant in place. Bone grafting lengthens treatment duration because the mouth needs more time to heal properly before final teeth can be attached.

Once all these factors are considered, your dentist can explain the predicted outcomes and help you make an informed decision about your treatment.

Why choose EVP Dental?

The team of dentists at EVP Dental aren’t in the business of recommending the most expensive treatment option for teeth replacement. We believe it is our duty of care to provide you with a missing teeth solution that you can afford to maintain for life.

EVP Dental is home to one of Perth’s most experienced denture Prosthetists, Donagh McDonagh who has 30 years’ experience crafting high-quality and well-fitting dentures for patients. Click here to read more about dentures at EVP Dental.

Our Head Dentist, Dr David Norcross runs a dedicated dental implant clinic Perth Dental Implant Centre, out of our East Vic Park and Kelmscott practices, click here to learn more about dental implants or book an implant consultation today, call (08) 9470 3944.