Prompt treatment at Desert Dental Alternatives gives patients a better chance of restoring lost teeth. Two of the most common options are dentures and dental implants. While dentures have long been the norm for patients missing all or most of their teeth, dental implants are often a stabler alternative that have gained in popularity. When patients visit our Cathedral City, CA, practice, Dr. Bruno Lemay discusses the differences between dentures vs. dental implants to help you make the right choice.
While both dentures and implant-supported restorations look similar to your natural teeth at a distance, that is not always the case up close. Implants may provide a more enhanced appearance that better matches the patient’s teeth. This is a result of implants being more labor-intensive since technicians spend extra time to ensure the restoration matches the size, color, and shape of surrounding teeth.
At our Cathedral City practice, we customize restorative treatments to function just like your own teeth. Therefore, you can do all of the same things, such as eating your favorite foods and speaking naturally.
Because restorations supported by dental implants are anchored into the jawbone the same way your natural teeth are, they often feel more comfortable. In contrast, it takes some extra time to get used to dentures and might take several weeks for your gums to adjust to them. However, unlike dental implants, there is no healing period associated with dentures.
In either case, you will have to learn how to chew and bite properly with your appliance. You might have to stick to softer foods for a while. Patients may also speak more slowly at first before feeling more confident with their appliance.
One of the biggest differences between dental implants and dentures is the treatment process. Patients need to understand what is involved with each treatment before committing to one over the other.
Dental Implant Procedure
Receiving dental implants begins with a consultation to ensure the treatment is ideal for your needs. During this time, we will take x-rays and check the overall health of your teeth and gums. If implants seem like a good fit for your needs, we can schedule placement surgery. If not, you may be able to improve your chances of success with a bone graft.
During implant placement, a small incision is made in the gums, and the doctor places the dental implant in the jawbone. Over several months, the bone and implant fuse together during what is known as osseointegration. Once the mouth is healed, your dentist places an abutment that acts as a connector for your restoration.
If you choose dentures, you will visit your dentist for a series of fittings to ensure the appliance fits appropriately and comfortably. For patients with a full arch of missing teeth, complete dentures are the best option. Partial dentures are recommended if you still have some of your natural teeth left. In some cases, tooth extractions are needed to prep your mouth for the appliance.
Your dentist will take impressions of your jaw to create a model for you to try on several times to ensure the look and fit are correct. Adjustments are made as needed before you receive the final denture, which takes several weeks.
Schedule a Consultation Today
To learn more about dentures vs. dental implants, visit our Cathedral City office for more information. We can be reached via phone at (760) 324-4450 or go online to schedule a consultation.