Even the most oral conscious adult can loose a tooth. Unlike children with baby teeth, once an adult looses a tooth, nothing short of a miracle can make it grow back better than ever. If you are looking for a way to fill in your gappy smile, then knowing the difference between implants and dentures can help you make an educated decision.
Most adult would be wise to fill in the void of their missing tooth, not just because of vanity issues, but because of related issues that may occur down the line. Teeth are important indicators of over all health, are necessary to chew solid food and are essential to speaking properly.
Dentures have been used for thousands of years as a way to fill the void left by missing teeth and provide humans with the necessary tools for breaking down food. An archaeological dig in Mexico unearthed a skeleton of a denture wearing man (2006). The remains and the dentures were found to be 4500 years old, making those dentures the oldest set of false teeth discovered yet.
Throughout history, many famous Americans wore teeth. Most notable was our First President, George Washington. Although it was erroneously reported that Washington wore false teeth made of wood, sets of his appliances have been analyzed and those dentures were actually made out of gold, human and animal teeth and bone.
Luckily, contemporary denture wearers general get to choose from plastic or porcelain. These dental appliances are made to be removable and are custom fit per patient. The process of getting properly fit for dentures can be time consuming as it can take up to four appointments (and the lag time in between). Professional dentists will take professional molds of the area to be fitted for the choppers.
Denture prices range on the complexity (partial bridge to full mouth) of the dentures. While a basic dental plate can start at about $500 a full set of top of the line dentures can cost thousands of dollars.
Unlike dentures, implants are permanent additions to your mouth. Dental implants are false teeth that are permanently affixed to the jawbone of a patient. According the DentalImplants.org “A dental implant is a small, sturdy, titanium post that acts as the root structure would for a natural tooth.”
Getting dental implants requires oral surgery. The treatment works best (and is more affordable) for those who already have healthy teeth and gums. If not, the skills of a periodontist may first be required to build a solid foundation. Dental implants will only stay secure if anchored into a substantial amount of jawbone surrounded by healthy gums and a periodontist is the master of that art form. Only after that work is complete can a dentist implant a tooth.
According to the New York Times, dental implants are far superior to dentures for a multitude of reasons, however this option can cost big bucks. The paper reports “An implant to replace a single tooth can cost $3,000 to $4,500, depending on where you live. Implants to replace a full or partial set of teeth can run from $20,000 to as much as $45,000.”
According to the source, Dr. Ron Ingle the dental director for Washington Dental Service (and an insurance executive) has stated, “For a single tooth replacement, over the long run we think it’s more beneficial to get the implant.”