Today, people who have missing teeth have a choice between dentures or dental implants as replacement teeth. Dentures have been around much longer and have always been a good replacement for missing teeth, but implants have a very high success rate and offer many advantages over dentures. When making the decision between implants and dentures, there are several factors that need to be considered.
The upfront cost of dental implants is much higher than the cost of dentures. Many people choose dentures for this reason alone, though you should consider the lifetime costs of denture cleaners and supplies. Implants require only normal brushing and flossing. Dentures often have to be repaired, adjusted or replaced, whereas dental implants can last a lifetime.
Once your teeth are gone, you begin to lose bone mass under your gums. This is because the bone, which was once supporting your teeth, is now without teeth and roots to support so it begins to wear away. In order for dental implants to work, you must have enough bone for the titanium posts to fuse to. A dental exam and X-rays will allow the dentist to determine if you have enough bone for implants. If you do not, you have a few choices. You may be able to have a bone graft to add more bone for implants. You may also be able to choose a different type of implants that requires less bone.
If you choose to get dentures to replace your teeth, you should remember that dentures will not stop the loss of bone. If you have worn dentures for several years and would like to get implants, it may not be possible due to bone loss. If you get implants, they will stop the bone loss.