happy women after dental work

Dentures vs. Implants — What’s the Difference?

If you’re missing teeth and not feeling as confident in your smile, you thankfully have several different options to correct it. Two of those options are dentures and implants. But which one is the best option for your needs?

If you want to know more about dentures vs implants to make your decision easier, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more about dentures vs implants to figure out the right fit to light up your smile.

What Are Dentures?

Before getting deep into dentures vs implants differences, let’s explain what each one is.

Dentures are removable devices that replace missing teeth and surrounding tissue. People often consider dentures a solution for the elderly, but this is a misconception. Dentures are suitable for anyone with missing adult teeth, regardless of age.

The main benefit of dentures is their durability. Although they may need to be adjusted or eventually remade due to normal wear and tear, dentures typically last anywhere from 5 to 10 years with no problems.

Different Types of Dentures

women holding dental implants

There are two types of dentures: complete and partial.

Complete dentures are the ones you use when all of your teeth are missing — whether from aging, injury, or extraction.

The two types of complete dentures are conventional and immediate. The dentist has conventional dentures made after they remove your teeth and your gums heal. In contrast, they make immediate dentures before they remove your teeth so that you can wear them immediately after removal.

The drawback of opting for conventional dentures is that it means going without teeth for four to six weeks after removal while the gums heal. At the same time, immediate dentures may require adjustments.

Partial dentures are the way to go when some of your natural teeth are still left in your mouth. The main benefit of partial dentures is that they serve a dual purpose — they not only fill in the gaps from your missing teeth but also prevent your other remaining teeth from shifting in your mouth, minimizing further damage and discomfort.

Let’s take a look at the denture process.

The Denture Process

Getting dentures requires a lot of preparation. The process takes several appointments over a few weeks. Here’s what the process is like at You Make Me Smile.

The first step to getting dentures is to take moulds of your mouth in its current state for measurements, ensuring that your dentures fit accurately. We then schedule appointments to try custom-fit dentures to ensure that the style, fit, and colour work for you.

During your final appointment, your dentures are adjusted and placed in your mouth to assess the fit and ensure that you’re comfortable. We send you home with instructions on caring for your new dentures to ensure their longevity and your continued comfort.

Your dentures will take some getting used to, and you may initially experience minor soreness, difficulty speaking and chewing, and excessive saliva. However, you’ll see that life is much easier with them after a while.

What Are Dental Implants?

Next, let’s talk about dental implants.

Dental implants are a tooth replacement option for permanent teeth that are extracted or have fallen out of your mouth. Missing teeth may be due to reasons such as:

  • Cavities
  • Tooth decay
  • Injury
  • Gum disease

Dental implants can replace your fallen tooth to restore your smile and confidence as long as you’re in good health.

Dental Implants Process

Just as with dentures, getting dental implants is a multi-step process that requires several appointments and fittings. The whole process generally takes at least six months to complete from start to finish.

The first step in the process begins with a consultation to ensure dental implants are the best option for you. Once you agree, then the planning starts.

A dental implant has two primary components: the artificial tooth and the post. The post is the tooth root that fuses and seals itself to your gums, while the artificial tooth is the exposed part meant to replace your former tooth.

Between the artificial tooth and the post is an abutment. The abutment attaches to the implant post and holds the artificial tooth in place, ensuring that your new tooth is stable.

Dental implant posts are meant to fuse with your jawbone tissue. The post must be fully fused and sealed before adding the dental crown or bridge to replace multiple teeth. You are sedated during the implant procedure, which lasts between one and two hours. Dental implants can last a long time and, with proper care, may even last a lifetime.

dentist during demonstration

What Does It Feel Like to Have Implants?

Dental implants resemble your natural teeth as much as possible to blend into your mouth easily. In theory, no one should be able to tell that you have dental implants. That said, your dental implants will most likely feel different than your other teeth, which can take time to get used to.

After the procedure, you should eat mainly soft foods for the first couple of weeks as your mouth will feel slightly sensitive.

Since the dental post is also artificial, you won’t have any feeling in the post itself, nor the artificial tooth. Your implant doesn’t contain roots or nerves as your natural teeth do. Instead, you’ll feel the tissue around your implant.

With all this new knowledge on dentures vs implants, let’s highlight some differences.

Dentures vs Implants: What’s the Difference?

Although dentures and implants are both meant to replace missing teeth, improve functionality, and increase your confidence, they are dramatically different options.

The main difference between dentures and implants is that dentures are removable while implants are permanent. Beyond that, another main difference is the process. Dentures are custom-made externally and measured to fit in your mouth. While this is the same for dental implants, a procedure is required to place the implant in your mouth.

Dentures typically last five to ten years before needing to be replaced. Dental implants, however, can potentially last a lifetime with proper care.

Dentures vs Implants: The Verdict

Hopefully, you have a better idea of whether dentures or implants are the right decision for you. If you’re still not sure, that’s okay!

Talk to your dentist to figure out which option is best for you. At You Make Me Smile, we help you make the best decision for your needs and are with you every step of the way. Book a consultation today.