Dental Implants vs Dentures: What’s the Difference?

September 25, 2023

If you have missing teeth and see a dentist in Santa Rosa, CA, for help, chances are you’ll be recommended dentures or dental implants.

They are both fantastic ways to restore your smile, but they work in different ways. Check out this short blog post to learn about the key differences between implants and dentures. 

What Are Dental Implants? 

Dental implants are artificial teeth designed to restore both the look and function of a person’s smile.

They mimic the structure of the natural tooth and are made from three elements:

  • Metal post
  • Abutment
  • Dental crown 

The metal post is the root of the artificial tooth and is inserted into the jaw bone. After the surgery, the body will heal around the post in a process called osseointegration. Once it’s complete, the abutment and dental crowns are attached on top, effectively finishing the restoration. 

What Are Dentures? 

Dentures are a type of dental prosthetic designed to replace multiple missing teeth at the same time. 

Full dentures can replace the entire arch of teeth, making them a great solution for patients with severe tooth loss and dental damage, but partial dentures are also available for patients who still have some healthy teeth. 

Dentures can also replace some gum tissue and are used even if patients suffer gum retraction due to periodontal disease or oral trauma. 

Key Differences Between Dentures and Dental Implants 

Here’s a quick side-by-side comparison of the two procedures: 

  • Restoration: Implants can only replace one missing tooth at a time, which for patients with severe dental loss can prove costly. Dentures are able to restore severely damaged smiles with one treatment.
  • Maintenance: Dental implants look and function just like normal teeth and require regular brushing and flossing for maintenance. Dentures are removable and, while easy to clean, may require more special care.
  • Comfort: Dental implants will feel like a natural tooth in 1-2 days after the tightness goes away. Dentures have a higher learning curve, as many patients need time to feel comfortable eating or speaking with them.
  • Bone support: Dental implants stimulate the jaw and prevent future bone loss, which dentures cannot do;
  • Cost: Dentures are more affordable than implants since they don’t involve surgeries or special procedures.
  • Treatment timeline: Patients can get a custom denture in just a few weeks, while the implant timeline is much more extensive and can take at least six months. 

Which Is the Right Solution for You? 

Both dentures and dental implants are excellent ways to restore your smile, but before making any official recommendations, Dr. Sean Wilson needs to carefully review your case and perform an oral exam. If you lost a tooth or suffered another type of dental emergency in Santa Rosa, our team can help.

This way, you can get a personalized treatment plan for a happy and healthy smile that will last a lifetime. Request an appointment at Sean S. Wilson DDS online, or call our office at (707) 578-7424 for a short chat.

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