Is a dental implant better than a denture?
If you're missing a tooth or two, we’ve got a couple of great options for you. Here’s the full story.
Our three regular readers know that our biggest voice is eavesdropping. We just can’t help it – we seem to be hard-wired to listen in on conversations that have nothing to do with us – especially if we catch a dental reference!
Last week, we took the DART into town for a bit of Christmas shopping, and wouldn’t you know it, we ended up sitting opposite what we presume to be a mother and daughter combination.
The daughter was about 25, and the mother was around 55. It was obvious from the conversation that the younger of the two had recently had a few implants fitted, and was very proud of her new look.
Mum, however, was none too impressed, and said that dentures would have been just as good an option – but at a lower cost.
We had to physically restrain ourselves from jumping into the conversation, and pointing out some of the more basic differences between a dental implant and a denture.
The first thing we’d like to say is that both forms of treatment represent excellent value for money, and both are effective in their own way. But the more modern treatment (implants) has a number of key additional benefits:
1) The replacement tooth is fixed into the jawbone with a titanium screw. This means that it can never slip out of place and embarrass you in social or business circumstances.
2) The typical dental implant is very realistic looking. Your dentist can file it and colour it so that it looks exactly like your normal teeth, and even your closest friends will be unable to spot that you’ve had work done unless you choose to share your secret.
3) Because the implants are fixed permanently into position, you don't have to take them out to clean them. Instead, you simply keep them in top condition by brushing and flossing – exactly the same way you treat your other teeth.
4) Your implants function exactly like permanent teeth in that you can chomp on a steak or bite into an apple, safe in the knowledge that your implants are up to the task. There’s simply no need to compromise on the foodstuffs you like the most.
5) They are impervious to cavities or similar threats, so they’ll actually stand up to the challenges of modern life ne=better than your normal teeth.
As to the claim by the mother on the DART that dentures are cheaper, this is true, but for overall value over a lifetime, the typical tooth implant cost represents a truly great deal.
The bottom line is that there’s no real definitive answer as to whether implants or dentures represent the best option for you, but if you'd like to discuss this in greater depth, why not drop into us and we can spell out your options for you.
But whichever route you take, we promise that your new smile will be something to celebrate in the New Year. Meanwhile, if you want to know a bit more about this topic, here's a handy starting point – http://www.deardoctor.com/inside-the-magazine/issue-21/dental-implant-maintenance/