Dental implants and dentures are both options for patients with tooth loss. One is a permanent solution with a temporary appliance and the other is a surgical procedure which provides a permanent set of replacement teeth.
Dentures are removable appliances that do not require any invasive surgeries or procedures. Molds are taken of your gums and custom-fitted dentures are created from those molds. Generally, a temporary set of dentures is provided while the permanent ones are being made and are ready to be fitted. This alleviates the potentially embarrassing scenario of being left with a toothless mouth for an extended period of time.
Dentures require a bit of a break in period. Your gums will need to adjust to the appliance and become accustomed to the contact that the dentures are making with the gum and underlying structures.
Dentures can be used to replace just a few teeth or all of the teeth of a particular jaw (upper or lower) or every tooth in the mouth can be replaced if warranted.
Dental implants use an artificial tooth root that custom made replacement teeth are affixed to in the mouth. Implants are permanent unlike dentures which can be removed each night for cleanings, etc.
The tooth roots need to be surgically implanted into the gum line. The roots act as anchors and are typically made of titanium.
Implants are a great choice for a patient who has lost one or more teeth and may not require the entire set of teeth to be replaced. However, dental implants can be used to replace every tooth in your mouth and are a very effective method for treating full mouth tooth loss.
Patients often find that adjusting to implants is easier than adjusting to dentures. Speaking and eating reportedly have shorter adjustment periods and faster learning curves in patients with the implants.
There are pros and cons to each of these solutions and the correct choice for you will be based on a number of factors. Tooth loss can occur for a number of reasons either due to disease or injury and the reason for the tooth loss will play a part in which option is best suited for your needs. There is no one size fits all “best” choice. Your medical history and personal preferences will play a part in which tooth replacement treatment is best for you.