There are a few options for replacing missing teeth, but two of the most common are dental implants and partial dentures. If you have teeth to replace, you may be wondering what the difference is between dental implants and partial dentures and which option is the best fit for your needs. In this article, we’ll compare a dental implant vs. partial denture as a solution for missing teeth.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium post that is surgically placed into your jawbone to replace the root of your missing tooth. The post is attached to an abutment, which is the term we use for the support that will hold your replacement tooth in place. In most cases, dental implant surgery is performed by an oral surgeon rather than a general dentist.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Most oral surgeons will tell you that dental implants are a better option than dentures. This is true in nearly all circumstances because dental implants are the only solution for missing teeth that replaces the root of your tooth. Replacing the entire tooth, rather than just the visible part of the tooth structure, preserves the jawbone. When your jaw is preserved, your oral health is better, as is your quality of life.
Benefits of dental implants include:
- Function. A dental implant works exactly like a natural tooth––you can eat the same foods, take part in the same activities, and you don’t have to worry about your dentures slipping. They’re also as easy to care for as natural teeth. No adhesives or soaking solution needed. Instead, you’ll brush and floss your implants twice a day.
- Cost. While it’s true that implants cost more at the start, in the long-term, they may end up costing you less. Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants rarely, if ever, need replacement.
- Permanence. To expand upon the last point, with proper care, you will never need to replace your dental implants. They’re designed to last a lifetime.
- Jaw Preservation. Dental implants do more than just preserve your current jaw bone. If you’ve suffered from bone loss, implants can reverse it by spurring the growth of new bone. This prevents facial collapse and means you’ll have a stronger bite than with dentures.
Comfort. Dental implants are fixed in place, providing maximum comfort, unlike dentures which can cause painful sores and raw spots by rubbing against your gums.
What Is a Partial Denture?
When you think of dentures, you may picture a full arch that replaces an enter upper or lower set of missing teeth. A partial denture, like its name implies, only replaces some teeth rather than all of them. Partial dentures are most commonly made with a combination of acrylic and metal; they are secured to adjacent teeth and removed for cleaning and sleeping.
What Are the Benefits of Partial Dentures?
While dental implants are the best restorative treatment for missing teeth in most cases, there are times when they may not be the best fit. Benefits of partial dentures include:
- Simplicity. The process of getting a partial denture is less invasive than surgery for dental implants. Instead of needing several trips to the oral surgeon’s office, partial dentures can be fabricated and ready-to-wear in a short amount of time. Dental implants can take months, or even years, from start to finish.
- Insurance. Many insurance plans do not cover dental implants because they consider them cosmetic. If you cannot pay for implants out-of-pocket, partial dentures may be the best choice for you.
Across-the-Board Solution. Partial dentures are a solution for almost anyone, but there are circumstances where dental implants aren’t an option. If bone loss has progressed to the point where the jaw cannot support implants without bone grafting, partial dentures may be a safer solution.
Learn More About Dental Implants vs. Partial Dentures
Every patient is unique and hence deserves a custom treatment plan tailored to their individual needs. Our team at Warren Oral Surgery is eager to answer all your questions regarding dental implants. If you’d like to discuss your options with one of our highly competent oral surgeons, contact us today at 908-222-7922 for a consultation.