If you tried to have a gathering of every American who currently uses dentures or has dental implants, you would have trouble finding a place for everyone. In fact, your get-together would surpass the population of California, with room to spare. According to surveys, just under 41 million Americans use dentures, and about 3 million have dental implants, with 500,000 Americans joining them every year.
Implants and dentures are great options for tooth replacement, as both look realistic and can restore the quality of life that missing teeth often take away. There are a couple of differences, however, between dentures and implants.
Are you looking to improve your smile or finally get the teeth you’ve dreamed about? If so, come see the team at Mark Kramer, DDS in Tustin, California. Dr. Kramer and his team are proud of their patient-centric focus and the exceptional results their patients see. In this blog, Dr. Kramer discusses dental implants, dentures, and which may be right for your oral health needs.
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed in the jawbone. To place an implant, Dr. Kramer will drill into the jaw, where he will place a post. As the jawbone heals, it fuses with the implant post to form a sturdy base similar to the strength provided by a real tooth. An abutment and replacement tooth are then placed on the post to serve as the new “tooth.”
There are two types of dentures: complete and partial. Complete dentures are probably what come to mind when you think of dentures. These dentures replace a full row of teeth and are held to your gums by a combination of suction and adhesive. Partial dentures fill in the space left by a few missing teeth. These dentures are attached to healthy teeth by a metal clasp, so you need strong teeth on both sides of the gap.
Implants are often seen as the gold standard for tooth replacement because they are a strong imitation for a real tooth. The benefits of implants include:
Implants, when well cared for, can last a lifetime without replacement.
Dentures offer many of the same benefits as dental implants, with the exception of jaw health, but the case for dentures comes more from the shortcomings of dental implants. On one hand, not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants. Heavy smokers, people with uncontrolled chronic disorders, and those who have had radiation treatment in the head or neck area may not have the jaw bone strength and density to support implants. These people can still get dentures.
Another factor is cost. Most insurance carriers, including Medicare, will cover some or all of the cost of dentures. Dental implants, however, are not covered by insurance plants unless you have extensive coverage for tooth loss. If cost is a concern, dentures may be your best bet.
To learn more about our dental implants, dentures, and which is right for you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Mark Kramer, DDS today.