Dental implants and dentures can both restore the appearance of your smile, but these dental treatments have several differences that set them apart. Traditional dentures are designed to sit on top of the bony ridge in your mouth and look like a natural row of teeth. If not properly fitted, they can slide around when you talk and cause intraoral sores. Due to normal wear and tear, dentures must be replaced about every five years.
A dental implant is surgically inserted and fuses to the jaw bone. The implant post acts as a natural tooth and stimulates the jaw bone, keeping it healthy. You can have as many dental implants as you need to restore your smile, and each crown is custom-made to match the shape and color of your other teeth. Even if you’re missing all of your teeth, dental implants can be used to support a fixed denture. Removable dentures must be taken out during eating and brushing, while dental implants remain in your mouth at all times. A permanent prosthesis through full-arch restoration will not slide around in your mouth and does not need to be replaced, making it an ideal long-term solution.
A tooth’s root stimulates the jaw bone during chewing. This keeps the jaw strong and healthy. When teeth are missing, the jaw bone doesn’t get stimulated and will weaken over time. As the jaw deteriorates, nearby teeth can shift into the open space and facial features can start to sag.
Dental implants are designed to replicate a natural tooth, including the root, and provide stimulation to the jaw bone. They fuse to the bone, creating a permanent foundation that both replaces the missing tooth and keeps the jaw healthy. Removable dentures only sit on top of the bony ridge in your mouth and do not stimulate the jaw bone. While dentures are often cheaper upfront, they do not prevent jaw bone atrophy and can lead to costly and extensive surgery down the road.