Dental Implants vs Dentures

By Bruce E. Hanley DDS
April 09, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants   dentures  

Which tooth replacement option is right for you? Know the pros and cons.

In the past, there weren’t a whole lot of options if you were missing one or more permanent teeth. Today, our Arlington, VA, dentist Dr. Bruce Hanley offers everything from dentures to dental implants, which can be tailored and customized to you and your smile. Of course, if you’re not sure which option is right for you, you’ve come to the right place. We break down the differences between implants and dentures to help make the decision-making process a little easier for you.

What are dentures?

Dentures are removable devices that hold one or more artificial teeth. There are two kinds of dentures, partial and complete. As the names suggest, partial dentures are used when you still have some natural teeth left and complete dentures are used in cases where there are no natural teeth.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants consist of two parts, a small screw and a dental crown. During a minor surgery, a small screw is inserted into the jawbone. Then it is given time to heal and fuse with the bones and surrounding tissue. This creates a strong base that mimics a natural tooth’s root. Once the healing period is over, your dentist will fit the implant with an artificial tooth that is designed to match the rest of your smile.

Which tooth replacement option is right for you?

From these descriptions alone, you can tell that both treatment options are vastly different, but you may still be wondering which one will work best with your smile. There are many deciding factors, but here are some of the most important ones:

The health of your smile: If you are dealing with weak or unhealthy gums, dental implants may not be a good match. This is particularly true for those dealing with severe gum disease that’s not been treated. Since gum disease often leads to tooth loss, it can cause dental implants to fail. It’s important that you are maintaining healthy gums and natural teeth before you have a restoration placed.

Plus, if you’re dealing with weakened gums, it can delay or cause complications during the healing process. This same logic holds true for those with jaws problems. If you have gum or jaw problems, dentures may be a better alternative.

The number of teeth you’re missing: If you are only missing a couple of teeth and your mouth is healthy, a dental implant is a popular choice for replacing these teeth. If you have good oral hygiene, your dental implants are meant to last a lifetime. 

The cost of treatment in Arlington, VA: While dental implants will cost more than dentures will upfront, maintenance and care costs will be low, so it’s considered a long-term investment in your oral health. If you are concerned about cost and want to keep expenses low, dentures are a great, cost-effective solution for replacing missing teeth. We would be happy to discuss costs and finances with you to help you get the tooth replacement option you want without worrying about the expense.

You could also have the best of both with implant-supported dentures. Call Dr. Hanley’s practice at (703) 524-7100 to schedule a consultation with our Arlington, VA, dental team. We would be happy to sit down with you and discuss your options.

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