At first glance, dental implants and dentures might appear to be interchangeable solutions to the same problem. However, these two treatments not only differ in how they are constructed and placed but also in the way they influence an individual's life. To make the best decision for your dental health, it's crucial to understand the distinctions between these options and how each may impact your overall well-being.
So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the captivating world of tooth replacements, as we walk you through the ins and outs of dental implants and dentures. We'll help you uncover the impact of these seemingly similar solutions on your day-to-day life. Let's begin this journey together and explore the path to a healthier, happier, and more radiant you!
At the end of this article you will have complete understanding of your options, especially if you may be considering full mouth restoration for you or someone you know. You'll not only have a solid grasp of the topic but also feel empowered to make an informed decision about the right treatment for your unique situation. And as always, if you ever have any questions on what you are reading, you can take our 60-second quiz to find out if you are eligible for permanent teeth in 24 hours, or speak to a dental provider at Nuvia.
At first glance, dental implants and dentures might appear to be interchangeable solutions to the same problem. However, these two treatments differ not only in how they are constructed and placed but also in the way they influence an individual's life. To make the best decision for your dental health, it's crucial to understand the distinctions between these options and how each may impact your overall well-being.
The history of dentures dates back thousands of years, with ancient civilizations striving to find innovative solutions for missing teeth. The earliest known examples of dentures have been found in Egyptian, Etruscan, and Mayan archaeological
sites, where they used gold wires, animal teeth, and even human teeth sourced from slaves or the deceased. While these early dentures were a far cry from today's forms of replacements for teeth, they demonstrate humanity's ingenuity and determination to overcome the challenges posed by tooth loss.
The evolution of dentures truly began to pick up speed during the 18th century when European dentists started experimenting with materials like ivory and animal teeth. But it was the invention of vulcanite, a hardened rubber material, in the 19th century that revolutionized denture production. Fast forward to the 20th century, dentures underwent a series of improvements, including the introduction of acrylic resins and, later, digital technology for enhanced precision and customization.
Dentures have long been a popular solution for dealing with tooth loss, but did you know that they are becoming less popular as newer options emerge?
Tooth loss is a widespread issue in America, affecting over 36 million individuals who don't have any teeth, and another 120 million who are missing at least one tooth (American College of Prosthodontists, n.d.).Dentures, in the past, were the go-to option for those struggling with edentulism (having no teeth). However, as more people have become aware of their downsides in comparison to newer treatments, dentures are quickly becoming a less desirable option. In the next section, we'll explore dentures in more detail. After that, we will move on to explore more about dental implants and why they're becoming the preferred choice for those looking to replace missing teeth.
Dentures are a removable device that can be placed inside the mouth to appear and function as teeth would. Although they are significantly limited in the amount of stabilization they can provide, often making it difficult or even impossible to properly chew food and talk normally.
Dentures are made up of acrylic that has been shaped into teeth and attached to a base that fits over the gums. There are different types of dentures, like complete and partial dentures, depending on what a person needs. For purposes of this article, we will be referring to dentures as complete dentures, or full arch dentures.
Meet Michael, a patient from our Salt Lake City location who was in a denture when he came to see us. Can you see the difference between the time he came to see us wearing dentures and when he got his dental implants? Immediately there was a difference in lip support and face shape that some people say made him look younger and more energetic. What do you think?
#6 Hidden Costs later on
In addition, the cost of dentures may not be as budget-friendly as initially perceived. Although the upfront cost may seem lower than dental implants, dentures typically require regular adjustments, relines, and replacements, among other costs which can add up over time. This ongoing maintenance can make dentures less cost-effective in the long run, as patients may need to pay for multiple sets of dentures, adjustments, relines, and additional dental visits throughout their lifetime.
Minnie, one of our denture patients who came to Nuvia for dental implants explained her experience with dentures vs dental implants. Watch her story below.
It is also important to consider the potential impact of dentures on a person's bite or alignment. Since dentures are not fixed in place like natural teeth or dental implants, they can shift over time, causing issues with the wearer's bite. This misalignment in the jaw can result in uneven wear, potential jaw pain, and difficulty chewing food properly. It can also make it challenging to find a comfortable resting position for the jaw, leading to increased strain and potential discomfort.
Dental implants, while a relatively newer option compared to dentures, have their roots in the 1950s when a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark made a serendipitous discovery. While studying bone healing and regeneration, he observed that titanium metal had the unique ability to fuse with bone tissue – a process known as osseointegration. This pioneering research laid the foundation for modern dental implants and led to the first successful implant placement in a human patient in 1965. the years, dental implant technology has come a long way, from Brånemark's initial discoveries to today's cutting-edge advancements. Innovations such as the development of different implant designs, surfaces, and coatings have significantly increased the success rate and longevity of dental implants.
Additionally, computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technologies have enabled dentists to achieve greater precision and customization in dental implant placement and restoration. As dental technology advanced, researchers and dental professionals discovered the significance of biocompatibility (ensuring foreign materials, such as titanium dental implants, can be placed in the body without causing harm or being rejected,) similar to how an organ transplant can be rejected if it is seen as a foreign object.
This discovery of biocompatibility (being able to place metal into human bone successfully) led to the creation of more innovative materials that offer not only increased strength and durability but also promote successful osseointegration (bone growing around the implant). Titanium and zirconia have become the gold standard for dental implants. While denture materials have also improved to provide enhanced fit, comfort, and aesthetics, the exceptional strength of zirconia and titanium, used in Nuvia's dental implants, beats the strength of acrylic by a wide margin.
The adoption of digital technology in dentistry has opened up a world of possibilities for both dental implants and dentures. Techniques such as 3D imaging, intraoral scanning, and CAD/CAM have transformed the way dental professionals diagnose, plan, and execute treatments. These technologies have not only improved the precision and accuracy of implant placement and teeth fabrication but have also paved the way for highly customized and patient-specific solutions that cater to individual needs and preferences.
The field of dentistry and tooth replacement options has come a long way since its humble beginnings. From the rudimentary attempts at tooth replacement in ancient civilizations to today's state-of-the-art dental implants and dentures, the continuous quest for improvement has made it possible for patients to enjoy better oral health, functionality, and aesthetics. By understanding the history and advancements in dentistry, we can appreciate the incredible progress made and look forward to even more innovative solutions in the future.
Full mouth dental implants are a long-lasting solution for people who have lost most or all of their teeth. These dental implants function like screws, fastened into the bone to stabilize the replacement teeth, acting as a root system to hold the teeth. This treatment not only gives you a natural-looking smile, but it also supports your oral health and can enhance your overall quality of life. One of the best parts is that you might not even notice you have them, as they are designed to be as close to natural teeth as possible. Full mouth dental implants tend to have a higher satisfaction rate when compared to traditional dentures (Pommer et al., 2011).
Full mouth dental implants are usually made of two main materials: titanium and zirconia. Both of these materials are strong, long-lasting, and safe to use in your body. By making sure that we use materials that work well with your jawbone, we lower the chance of any problems down the road.
Titanium dental implants:
Titanium is a common choice for dental implants because it works really well with your body, and it is strong and long-lasting. Titanium implants are light, don't rust, and are great at connecting with your jawbone, which ensures the dental implant stays stable for a long time or even forever.
Zirconia is a newer material used for dental implant teeth and is becoming more popular because it looks nice and is safe to use in your body. Zirconia can come in a variety of colors but typically is used in white and pink to resemble the teeth and gums. Zirconia is able to appear very close to the look of natural teeth because of the way it reflects the light. Because zirconia is so strong and long-lasting, it is common to never need to replace the teeth in a lifetime because there are very seldom any problems with chipping or cracking. (*With Proper Maintenance and Care)
The impact of dental implants, especially full mouth dental implants, can be huge. For people who have lost most or all of their teeth, this treatment can change their life. It not only makes their smile look beautiful, but it also helps them eat, talk, and can help promote a sense of self confidence about themselves. By using high-quality materials like titanium and zirconia, dental implants provide a reliable and long-lasting solution that functions and looks like natural teeth.
To help you gain a better understanding of what you can expect when getting dental implants at Nuvia, we will review the process from start to finish.
During the consultation, we will assess your oral health and determine if you're a good candiddate for full mouth dental implants. We will answer any questions you have and develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs.
In the Smile Design phase, you will collaborate with your highly trained doctors and team to choose the shape and shade of your new teeth, ensuring they look natural and blend seamlessly with your facial features.
During this appointment, you will be placed under safe general anesthesia by a licensed nurse anesthetist to ensure maximum comfort. The surgeon will remove any damaged or decayed teeth, if necessary, and then insert the titanium implants into the jawbone.
Permanent Teeth in 24 Hours
Through the night, our in-house lab team will customize your new teeth, and at this appointment, your new teeth will be attached to the implants, giving you a beautiful and functional new smile to enjoy as you begin your new life with a confident smile.
Osseointegration and healing
During the next few months after your surgery, the implants will begin the process of fusing with the jawbone, providing a strong foundation for your new teeth. During this healing time, we will have a guideline for what we recommend to help you heal, such as eating soft foods and brushing regularly. Healing times vary, but you can rest assured knowing that you will be in your new permanent set of teeth during the entire healing phase. You will have follow-up appointments two weeks and four months after the surgery. At the four-month appointment, we will address any changes in the bone and mouth that may have occurred during the healing process.
As we have taken a deeper look into the advantages and disadvantages of dental implants and dentures, are you getting a better idea of what option might suit your needs best?
Dental implants offer numerous benefits, including enhanced stability, natural appearance, preservation of jawbone, and long-term durability. However, they may not be suitable for everyone, as factors like overall health, bone density, and financial considerations play a crucial role in determining candidacy.
On the other hand, dentures may provide a more accessible and affordable solution for those who cannot undergo implant treatment. Modern dentures can look realistic and provide a functional solution for those with multiple missing teeth. However, they may not offer the same level of stability and comfort as dental implants, and they require more maintenance, such as regular cleaning and periodic adjustments or replacements.
The cost of tooth replacement is often a significant factor for patients when choosing between dental implants and dentures. Dental implants tend to have a higher upfront cost compared to dentures, as they involve a more complex surgical procedure and use high-quality materials. However, when considering the long-term durability and low maintenance requirements of implants, they may prove to be a more cost-effective solution over time.
Dentures, while generally more affordable initially, may entail ongoing costs such as adjustments, relining, and regular replacement. Additionally, the lower stability and potential impact on oral health and bone loss may lead to further dental expenses down the road as the facial structure may change significantly.
By providing you with a comprehensive understanding of dental implants and dentures, we hope to empower you to make the right choice for your unique situation. With advances in dentistry continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible, patients today have more options than ever before to restore their smiles and enjoy a better quality of life.
Our team of experts are dedicated to providing you with the highest level of care and support throughout your dental journey. We will help you weigh the pros and cons of dental implants and dentures, taking into account your unique needs, preferences, and circumstances. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that you can make an informed decision and experience the life-changing benefits of a healthy, beautiful, and functional smile, whatever that looks like for you. Take our 60-second quiz now, and experience the difference that our expert care and cutting-edge technology can make in your life.
Sources: American College of Prosthodontists. (n.d.). Facts and figures. Retrieved from https://www.gotoapro.org/facts-figures/