Dental Implants vs. Dentures: What’s the best option?

Did you know nothing has changed about the way dentures are made and fit to patients’ mouths over the last 100 years? Yes, in 100 years nothing has changed. It should come as no surprise that dental implants are the best and most preferred option for smile makeovers. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford dental implants. Let’s weigh the differences between the options.

Dental ImplantsDenture 1

Complete dentures

Complete dentures are made of acrylic and rest on soft tissue (gums). They are taken in and out by the patient as needed and are typically left when sleeping. There is nothing to hold the dentures in place other than the intimate fit to soft tissue and denture adhesive if necessary.

Implant overdentures

Implant overdentures are made of acrylic, often with cast metal or mesh underneath in order to give them strength. On the underside of the denture, there are attachments that snap into place on top of implants. The gums support the denture, but the implants retain it. In simpler terms, the implants attach to the denture and prevent it from moving but provide little to no support.

Fixed prosthesis attached to implants

A fixed prosthesis attached to implants is the closest thing to natural teeth I can give someone. Instead of acrylic, removable teeth, the prosthesis is made of a ceramic material. In most cases, the teeth are a single arch and are screwed into the implants. This is a much more aesthetic option that does not wear like acrylic does.

Dental implants in the mandible and maxilla

The minimum number of implants to be placed in the mandible and maxilla is four, however I typically aim to find a way to place five or six as a preventive measure in case one fails. These implants are 100% customizable to the patient’s aesthetic desire. I give the patients control. A series of try-ins with the prosthesis milled in wax allows the patient to see how the teeth will look, allowing for changes before milling the final product. A fixed prosthesis is always better than a removable one, however, the removable option is much less expensive.