There are several options for people who need dentures. They can get removable complete dentures, removable partial dentures, single implants, implant supported dentures, or implant retained dentures.
Here’s a quick comparison between the types of regular dentures and the types of implant dentures so future denture-wearers have a solid idea of what they’re getting themselves into.
A traditional set of dentures is molded to fit over the gums to replace missing teeth and gum tissue.
Complete dentures replace a whole row of teeth on the upper jaw, lower jaw, or both by sitting right on the gums.
Partial dentures attach to clasps or other accessories on existing teeth or crowns to fill in gaps left by missing teeth.
Pricing anywhere from $600 to $8,000 for basic to high-quality dentures, they still cost less than implant dentures and they do the job just as well.
Dental insurance companies will usually pay 15% to 50% of the cost.
Regular dentures require no invasive surgery, take less time to mold and make, and are easy to adjust.
They can feel fake and bulky, and it takes time to get used to the feeling of dentures.
They’ll only last 7 to 15 years compared to the almost lifelong-lasting longevity of implants.
They need to be regularly taken out for cleaning, and they restrict the ability to eat certain hard or sticky foods.
Regular dentures have no jawbone support. The jawbone gets smaller and starts to recede over time so the dentures start to slip more – making it harder to eat and speak.
The recession of the jawbone also messes with the fit of the dentures, necessitating future dentist visits for a denture reline or a new set altogether.
Implant dentures require a dentist to surgically insert metal implants into the patient’s jawbone. The teeth part of the denture then snaps on over the implants for a precise and secure fit.
Implant-supported dentures carry the force of a bite and have a higher number of implants than implant retained dentures, which offset the bite force onto the gums and only have a few implants.
The whole implantation process requires multiple surgeries, fittings, insertions, and healing.
When it’s all said and done, implants are a long-lasting denture solution with a better value in the long-term compared to regular dentures.
Implants actually help preserve the remaining jawbone to maintain facial structure.
Dental implants will eventually heal so they feel, look, and function like natural teeth. They’re brushed and flossed the same as normal teeth, and there are no food limitations.
The process of implantation takes a long time. It can be frustrating and painful to go through surgeries, fittings, and recovery for a minimum of 5 months (lower jaw) and 7 months (upper jaw), especially when other prerequisite procedures can stretch the time to over a year.
If a patient doesn’t have enough jawbone to support the implants, they’ll need a bone graft – which only extends the uncomfortable time spent between surgeries and in recovery.
Costs always hit hard with any dental procedure, and that’s particularly true when it comes to dental implants. Expect to pay around $1,000 to $3,000 per tooth implant, of which the lower jaw needs 4 to 5 and the upper jaw needs 6 to 8.
Some insurance companies classify implants as a cosmetic procedure, which means they won’t cover it.
So What’s the Verdict?
The best denture choice for each patient depends on their preferences and what they’re looking for in their replacement teeth.
Another big factor is the amount of money they have available for the procedure.
Some denture-users will decide the invasive surgeries and possible 5 months to a year in recovery time is worth the longevity and other pros for implanted dentures. Others see it all as too much of a hassle and would opt for traditional dentures instead.
Contact Dr. Westman’s Office
Dr. Westman in Racine, Wisconsin provides a specialized approach to removable complete and partial dentures. He knows that patients’ health and time are both valuable – so he has an in-house dentures lab that offers shorter waiting times, quick adjustments, and a more individualized approach.
Every phase of denture fabrication is performed personally by Dr. Westman with his own two hands, not by an outside laboratory technician.
Dr. Westman makes all the impressions and bite records himself, and he custom arranges the actual teeth that will be in the final denture – right in his patient’s mouths via a wax setup to get the bite right and to achieve a natural looking smile.
He’s a personable dentist who does more than just fix teeth – he takes the time to educate patients on their procedures and how oral health impacts overall health.
People who are interested in which denture options are best for them should contact Dr. Westman’s office for further information.