A: Yes they are—dental implants are cost-effective treatments. We are not touching any of the adjacent teeth to do any bridge or root canals on the adjacent teeth. We are replacing only the missing teeth which makes it very cost-effective. Plus, when we are replacing a full arch of teeth, we are replacing them with 4-6 implants which makes it a cost-effective procedure.
Let’s face it, losing your teeth can be quite demoralizing and really takes a toll on your self-image. Having to evaluate things such as replacement expenses, the inconvenience, and the impact on your health can be overwhelming. However, you must sort that out as soon as possible and replace your teeth quickly. The sooner you replace them the less damage to your jawbone and the sooner you can get back to life as you know it.
When you consult with a dentist, they will let you know that your options are dentures or dental implants. However, while both are technically solutions—only one is a true restoration, the other is a substitute. In the end, the most cost-effective solution for tooth replacements is dental implants—period. Let us break it down for you.
Why Dental Implants Are A Better Value
To understand the stark advantage of dental implants over dentures, you have to understand what each option is. Once you see the differences and how they can affect your overall health, you can clearly see the advantage of dental implants.
Dentures are removable prosthetics that replace the teeth you’re missing and some of your gum tissue as well. Full dentures replace a whole arch or both arches of teeth that have been completely lost. On the other hand, partials are for missing a few teeth only, to fill in the gaps between remaining teeth.
While full dentures sit directly on your gums, partials are held in place with fixtures attached to surrounding teeth. All dentures have a pink, gum-colored base of acrylic that supports the replacement teeth. Some dentures may also make use of a lightweight metal framework for added strength and reinforcement.
A dental implant is a biocompatible titanium post that is implanted into the jawbone to replace the root of your missing tooth. Because it is implanted into the jawbone it begins to bond and becomes part of the jaw. This creates an anchor that is as strong as a natural root and is used to hold a restorative tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, a few adjacent teeth, or an entire set of teeth.
Dentures Vs Dental Implants
Even though dental implants do have some minor drawbacks, none of them are physical. In fact, the only drawback of dental implants is the higher upfront costs. However, when you consider the long-term ownership of implants vs dentures—they are the better value. These are just some of the most glaring differences between the two that make patients overwhelmingly choose implants.
Modern dentures can be customized to resemble natural gum and tooth color more closely than ever before. Dental implants don’t cover your gums and the teeth look indistinguishable from natural teeth.
When dentures are fitted correctly, they do help support the lips and cheeks a bit better. However, since there is no stimulation of the jaw—your facial structure will change gradually. With dental implants, the jawbone remains strong. Your face will look as it always has and there is no stigma.
Dentures are the more affordable option upfront. However, overall, dental implants are the better value, but the upfront cost can be a bit daunting. Nevertheless, dental implants, hands down are a better long-term value. Dentures need to replaced every 6 years or so. At the average of $5500.00 for a set of dentures… that’s a lot.
The process of making dentures does not require the invasiveness of implants. It should be noted though that implants are permanent, long-lasting, and are non-invasive day to day. Dentures are very invasive and require quite an adjustment. They make it hard to talk, you can’t eat all the foods you’re used to and there’s a higher chance of gum disease. Also, dentures require an incredible amount of maintenance such as nightly cleaning, and reapplication of messy adhesive. When you think about it, they’re actually more invasive than implants.
Other Factors to Consider
Dentures are typically covered to some extent by most forms of dental insurance—but it’s not guaranteed. Dental implants are incorrectly deemed a cosmetic procedure rather than a medical necessity, so they are rarely covered. Hopefully, with growing public sentiment and medical research showing necessity— insurance companies will feel the pressure and cover them.
Implants that are cared for properly (brushing and flossing etc.) can last a lifetime in most cases. Dentures on the other hand need to be replaced as often as every 3-5 years depending on your situation. That can be quite costly and end up being as much as implants.
Long-Term Oral Health Impact
Implants preserve bone and gum tissue by stimulation when you chew, this reduces the risk of more tooth loss. Dentures simply cannot compare here and even promote more oral health problems if not properly fitted.
Dentures need to be cleaned very often and it has to be very meticulous. Dentures have a propensity to get food caught everywhere in crevices. Implants require nothing more than normal brushing and flossing daily to remain clean.
Dentures look fake period. That is because they cannot truly be custom fit to your mouth by design. Implants are a 1:1 replacement for each tooth, whether replacing 1 tooth or getting full arches so they fit with precision.
Dentures can slide around in your mouth, or worse fall out when you’re talking or eating with someone. Implants are just like teeth and are anchored as such.
How to Decide
Dental implants by far are considered the absolute best solution for replacing failing or missing teeth. This is mainly due to how they most closely replicate the natural biological structure of natural tooth roots. This helps maintain jawbone health, gum tissue, and also provides a natural-looking smile.
In contrast, dentures are very difficult to get used to, look extremely unnatural and large, and impede your life. They also need to be replaced often so depending on your age—dentures can end up costing more. It’s not even just about the replacement cost— it goes deeper.
Not only do dentures need frequent replacement but your health can suffer greatly as well. You are more prone to gum disease, your nutrition suffers, and your facial structure does too. All of these things can add up to extra healthcare costs. All in all, dentures should be your absolute last resort if at all possible to avoid.
There are some rare circumstances where dentures while not the best option—may be your only option. Then there are many situations where dentures are the best option. Implants aren’t suitable for everybody. Dentures could be your only option if you are vehemently afraid or opposed to oral surgery. As well, if you can’t stop grinding your teeth, stop smoking, or have a condition like diabetes that impedes healing.
However, it should be noted, that in terms of medical conditions—even diabetes can’ t make implants impossible, it’s very rare. Dr. Nahlah has performed implant surgery on many diabetic patients with zero complications. Diabetes can make healing a bit slower though, which could extend the recovery time but it’s very doable.
Get The Best Dentist In DC For Your Dental Implants!
If you have decided on the best missing tooth solution, you should do yourself a favor and get the best dentist in DC. Dr. Nahlah has performed thousands of successful implant procedures and changed the lives of so many. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and get your smile back!