Partial Dentures or Dental Implants? How to Choose Your Tooth Replacement Solution
If you are missing a single tooth or several adjacent teeth in part of your mouth, you can choose to replace them with dental implants or partial dentures. Both these solutions create the illusion of a flawless smile, but there are important differences between the two treatments that you need to consider when choosing which option is right for you.
What are Partial Dentures?
Partial dentures are a set of one or more false teeth attached to a plastic framework that attaches to your neighbouring teeth. Typically, you would wear your partial dentures during the day, creating the appearance of a complete smile, but take them out in the evening so you can clean them thoroughly.
What are Dental Implants?
Unlike partial dentures, dental implants are not removable. They consist of a titanium support that is surgically inserted into the jaw and one or more tooth-coloured crowns. Dental implants are designed to permanently restore your smile and typically require little maintenance after the initial fitting.
Advantages of Partial Dentures
The fitting process for partial dentures is non-invasive. The dentist will ask you to bite down on a soft moulding material to create an impression of your bite. This mould is then sent to a dental laboratory, where custom partial dentures are created to fit your mouth. On the other hand, dental implants require a minor surgical procedure to fit the titanium supports.
Partial dentures are less expensive than dental implants. Estimates of the cost of replacing one arch of teeth with partial dentures range from $1,500 to $2,500. In contrast, dental implants can cost as much as $5,340 per tooth.
Partial dentures are a suitable option for most people, whereas some people do not have enough bone density to support a dental implant. Consult your dentist to find out whether your jawbone is sufficiently healthy to make dental implants a possibility.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants typically require less maintenance than partial dentures, which may need to be replaced every few years as the shape of your mouth changes. Dental implants also protect against future bone loss, as they transmit chewing forces through the jaw, providing the stimulation the jawbone needs to stay strong.
Many people find dental implants more convenient, as they do not slip at all when you chew or talk. Partial dentures sometimes require adhesives to keep them in place, but implants stay permanently rooted. This lack of movement can help to give dental implants a very natural look and feel.