Are Dental Implants like Dentures?

After losing multiple teeth in a row because of tooth decay, gum disease, or dental trauma, dentists may recommend missing teeth replacements like dentures or dental implants. Both are great options for healthy dental restoration and one can choose between the two depending on one’s situation and needs.

Getting dentures can help people restore their health, and complete smiles. With advancements made in dental technology, now people can go for different types of dentures and implants that provide optimal tooth replacement. Among the options for dentures are snap-on dentures (removable implant-supported dentures) or hybrid dentures (fixed implant-supported dentures) which are a great alternative to traditional removable dentures.

Are Dental Implants like Dentures?

Most people get confused between dental implants vs. dentures and often consider both the same. Are dentures considered implants? However, that’s not true, permanent/ fixed dentures aren’t the same thing as dental implants, but they are affixed to the implants and are collectively known as implant-supported dentures or hybrid dentures. In the case of implant-supported dentures, the surgically placed implants serve as the fake roots of the missing teeth and create a stable foundation for permanent dentures. 

Dental implants and dentures offer many benefits, but in most cases, Implants are chosen overdenture. Every patient who is looking for the best dental replacement option has different desires, needs, as well as budgets. Keep reading till the end to know in detail- are dental implants same as dentures, difference between dental implants and dentures- including implant-supported dentures, with the information shared by dental implant surgeon at EON Clinics.

What are Full Mouth Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a dental restoration solution, a gold-standard prosthetic tooth that can be used to substitute original tooth roots and serve as a strong anchor for a dental crown, a bridge, or a denture. It is a titanium/zirconium post that is permanently installed into or on the jawbone beneath the gum line, to secure it inside the mouth. 

A typical implant system consists of three parts: a cylindrical-shaped or screw-like post usually made of titanium; an abutment that connects the post to the replacement tooth/teeth; and the replacement tooth/teeth which could be a crown, bridge, or denture depending upon several missing teeth to be replaced.

What are Dentures?

Dentures are custom-designed artificial teeth set to replace a few missing teeth in dental arches or wholly replace either one or both dental arches, including some of the gum tissues. Based on the number of teeth missing, the dentures can be of two types: partial and complete. The dentures are usually removable, meaning they can be kept out of the mouth and placed only when they are needed. They are designed in a dental laboratory using personalized impressions taken from the patient’s mouth on a mold.

Dentures can be of various types such as traditional complete dentures, partial dentures, custom dentures, snap-in dentures, immediate dentures, overdentures, upper dentures, implant-supported dentures, and economy dentures (most cost-effective). 

People opt for dentures if they do not have sound dental structures, meaning they have weaker gums or jawbones. Dentures are a less invasive option and have become a common choice for those who either cannot afford implants or do not want to pursue implant surgery.   

Are Dental Implants the Same as Dentures?

Dental implants are not like dentures but they can together create the best missing teeth replacement option- the implant-supported dentures.

Implant-supported dentures are similar to conventional dentures with one key difference being that they are attached directly to the jawbone with the support of dental implants instead of resting on top of the gums. They are recommended by dental professionals if the patients are missing most or all of their teeth or have lost several teeth in sporadic areas.

Implant-supported dentures can be of two kinds: Removable and Fixed. The former type snaps onto the dental implants in the jawbone while the latter is surgically placed permanently into the jawbone.

Are Dental Implants the Same as Dentures

The process of having implant-supported dentures usually involves multiple steps, including:

  • Pre-prosthetic surgery- Some patients do not have enough jawbone density under the gum of missing teeth and would need to undergo bone grafting. There may even be some patients who need to go for tooth extraction for the removal of severely decayed or damaged teeth to make room for the prosthetic teeth. Depending upon whatever pre-prosthetic surgery is carried out, the operated site needs to heal for months before implant placement. During the healing period, the patients can wear healing dentures.
  • Placement of dental implant- In this step, the implant specialist, periodontist, or oral surgeon will surgically place the implant post into the jawbone. The jawbone fuses with the implant in about 3-6 months, hence securing its place inside the patient’s mouth. During these healing months, the patients can continue wearing healing dentures. For mounting a complete arch of dentures, four implants are enough.  
  • Taking dental impressions- Once the implant site is properly healed, dentists will take impressions of the dental arches and send them to a dental lab to start creating new permanent dentures.
  •  Placement of dentures- Once the custom permanent dentures are ready, they are placed surgically onto the implants.

Benefits of Opting For Implant-Supported Dentures: 

  • They aren’t uncomfortable when put inside the mouth and unlike traditional removable dentures, they cannot slip out of the mouth while eating or speaking or have reduced biting force.
  • Traditional dentures cannot preserve natural jawbone while the implants can help stimulate natural jawbone growth as they mimic the natural teeth roots.
  • They look realistic and feel and function the same as natural teeth.
  • They do not require special care or maintenance and those who follow good oral hygiene practices can have them for a lifetime. Generally, they last much longer than traditional dentures. For the best outcome, they may be replaced with overdentures- the dentures placed on top of the implants, after every 15-20 years.
  • They help improve one’s life quality by addressing some issues like difficulty chewing, oral infections, speech problems, and poor smile aesthetics. After having them patients can enjoy a boost in their confidence and esteem. 
  • After getting them, the patients would need very few visits to the dentist for follow-ups.
  • Patients can leave the dental office with a completely natural smile in just a single visit and come again for just placement of a fixed denture which replaces the temporary artificial teeth- the healing denture.

Which One is cheaper- Implants or Dentures?

Are implants cheaper than dentures? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by many patients visiting at EON Clinics. The upfront cost of dental implants is significantly higher than dentures, especially if one is looking forward to the replacement of multiple missing teeth. Dentures need to be replaced, realigned, or rebased after every few years. Depending on their wear and tear, the cost of dentures can add up over time. On the other hand, dental implants cost more initially but in the long run, it is a much more cost-effective option as they are a lifetime solution, if they are cared for and maintained properly. 

Consult the experts at EON Clinics to get the benefits of the best dental implants in Illinois.

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