Jamaica Plain

Implant-Supported Dentures Vs Traditional Dentures

Tooth loss is something that most people will eventually have to deal with in their lifetimes, and it's a fairly serious issue. If you don't replace that tooth, all kinds of bad things can happen, like your teeth shifting into the gap where the tooth once was, or a loss of functionality speaking and eating. That means you'll be faced with choosing some kind of option for replacing the tooth, and if you have multiple teeth missing, the decision can be even harder. In order to make the best and most informed choice, you should be aware of the benefits of both implant-supported dentures and traditional dentures, assuming you've decided that dentures are the way to go for tooth replacement.

What are traditional dentures?

denturesTraditional dentures constitute an option for tooth replacement that is completely removable, and which is designed to replace the functionality and the form of your original teeth. The biggest difference between traditional dentures and implant-supported dentures is that traditional dentures have to be removed at night time when you go to sleep. In the morning, you'll be able to brush them after they've been sitting in cleaning solution all night, and they'll be ready for good service the rest of the day.

What are implant-supported dentures?

Implant-supported dentures provide a permanent solution for tooth replacement. A surgical procedure is necessary to install the titanium implants into the jawbone, and it will then take several months before osseointegration can fuse the two together. Dental implants will usually last a lifetime as long as proper care is taken of them. Implant-supported dentures are much more stable than traditional dentures, because they're solidly anchored in place by the small titanium implants fused into the jawbone.

Pros and cons of implant-supported dentures

There are quite a few benefits provided by implant-supported dentures which are simply not available with traditional dentures. For one thing, implant-supported dentures are so good at replacing your natural teeth that they will also restore a measure of good health to your mouth. Since they are permanent, you can eat anything you might want on your menu. You can also take care of them in the same way that you care for your natural teeth, i.e., by regular flossing and brushing at least twice a day.

Another outstanding benefit of implant-supported dentures is that they will not shift or move around inside your mouth, even if you're eating particularly chewy foods. This can be a great advantage for biting, chewing, and speaking, because with no slippage possible, you can carry out all these functions normally. Probably the biggest disadvantage of implant-supported dentures would be the cost of having them installed.

Installing implants is a surgical procedure, and it will generally cost you much more than it would to have traditional dentures put in. It can also be considered a drawback that it will take somewhere between two and six months for osseointegration to be completed, which is the fusion process that takes place between a titanium post and your jawbone. During this fusion process, you will have to find some other way of replacing your missing teeth, while you're waiting for the final installation of your implant-supported dentures.

Pros and cons of traditional dentures

When speaking about the benefits provided by traditional dentures, you can start with the fact that they are considerably more affordable than implant-supported dentures would be. That's because surgery is not necessary to install anything, and it's simply a matter of taking molds and impressions of your mouth, so that appropriate dentures can be prepared in a laboratory. Another advantage of traditional dentures is that from start to finish, they can generally be installed in just a few weeks, as opposed to the months that would be necessary for implant-supported dentures.

The downside of having traditional dentures in is that they have to be held in place by some kind of dental adhesive, and that can get to be messy. It's also possible that you might need to re-apply adhesive more than once throughout the day, in order to keep your dentures in place. There's also some special care requirements associated with traditional dentures, starting with the fact they must be taken out of your mouth at night and put in a cleaning solution.

Then the following morning, it will be necessary to brush them clean, and wipe your mouth clean with a washcloth so it's ready for insertion. Traditional dentures cannot be worn while you're sleeping, so that's a good time to soak them in some kind of cleaning solution. It will be possible that over an extended period, your dentures could lose their shape and might become warped.

If this happens, they will probably need to be replaced, because the fit inside your mouth is extremely important for your biting and chewing processes. You'll also find that some foods are difficult to eat with traditional dentures, since it's possible for them to shift around inside your mouth. For the same reason, speaking can sometimes be difficult, especially if your adhesive breaks loose and the dentures are free to move around inside your mouth.

Which is the better choice?

When considering whether traditional dentures or implant-supported dentures would be better for you, it will be necessary to take into account what your priorities are. For instance, if you really have to keep an eye on your budget, you'll probably want to go the route of traditional dentures, since they are typically far less expensive than their counterparts.

On the other hand, if you're looking for the greatest amount of functionality and confidence, you just can't beat implant-supported dentures. These are anchored in place solidly, which means there will be no slippage inside your mouth. That will give you all the confidence in the world when you are biting, chewing, and smiling. It will also give you greater self-confidence in all your social activities, because you'll know that you are presenting your best possible smile to the world.

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