Add to the list the term dentures.
When you search for the term “dentures” online, you’ll get a lot of results referring to “denture implants”.
Thing is, dentures and denture implants are not one and the same. So you can see where the confusion comes from.
We’re here to try to clear things up for you so you know the difference and make smarter decisions about which one makes the most sense for you.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures simply are removable replacements for missing teeth. It’s almost like a mouth guard that you can pop in and out of your mouth as needed.
Full dentures will give you an entire arch (upper or lower) of great looking replacement teeth.
Partial dentures will just fill in the gaps for any teeth you’re missing but still let show off your remaining real teeth.
What Are Denture Implants?
Denture implants on the other hand typically refer to what are commonly called dental implants. This is a more permanent solution that requires an implant (or multiple implants) to be surgically placed in jawbone. The dentures (replacement teeth) are then attached to the implant.
Differences Between Dentures and Denture (Dental) Implants
This is certainly the biggie here. The difference that most people are concerned with.
Because they involve surgery and are a more permanent solution that most closely resembles the look and feel of real teeth, denture implants cost quite a bit more than dentures. To replace one tooth with a denture implant can cost around $2000 or more. A full set of denture implants can run from $24,000 up to $100,000 or so.
For dentures, the cost can range from $500 – $5000 per arch. So for a full set, top and bottom, the cost will average between $1,000 – $10,000.
So you can see what a huge difference in cost that is. However, there are costs and drawbacks associated with dentures that dental implants don’t have.
For example, dentures have to be removed regularly for cleaning, you’ll often be restricted to what you can eat, there’s a higher chance they’ll need to be replaced, etc. It’s important to factor these things into your decision in order to make the best choice for you.
Dentures tend to not look as natural as dental implants do. However the technology and realistic look of dentures has gotten a lot better in recent years. So you’ll want to go to a local cosmetic dentist to get a better idea of how the two options compare.
You could argue not much in life is truly permanent. But dental implants tend to last a very long time (20+ years)… if not forever.
Dentures need to be replaced, on average, every 3 – 6 years.
If you’re not a fan of needles, surgery, blood, etc., especially when they’re used (or come out of) you, dental implants might not be your cup of tea. Implants need to be surgically implanted in the jawbone.
No surgery is needed for dentures. They are custom fitted for your needs and then you just slip them into your mouth. It’s completely non-invasive.
Affect on Surrounding Teeth
Because dentures need to be supported by surrounding natural teeth, they can weaken those teeth, potentially causing further dental problems. This is not an issue with implants.
Implants don’t require much special care. Typically you just need to care for them the same way you’d care for your natural teeth.
Dentures will need to be removed and cleaned on a regular basis. This can be annoying and some patients find the process and cleaners required to be messy and expensive.
There are other differences but the list above covers the main ones.
To determine whether dentures or dental (denture) implants make more sense for you, go to our listings to find a cosmetic dentist near you who specializes in dentures and implants.