Are Implants Better than Dentures?

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implants vs. dentures

The goal of modern dentistry is to restore normal contour, functions, comfort, aesthetics, speech, and health, regardless of the disease, or injury of the dentition.  However, the more teeth a patient is missing, the more difficult this goal becomes with traditional dentistry. 

The loss of teeth results in shrinkage of the bone in the upper and lower jaws. This ultimately creates issues, such as pain from the denture when attempting to chew or speak, which causes the dentures to move forward against the lower lip. Another issue is caused when the tongue of a patient with upper and lower dentures increases in size to accommodate the gap formerly occupied by teeth. These discoveries have led us to believe the ability to wear a denture successfully, may largely be a learned and skilled performance. Therefore, the older a patient is who starts wearing dentures, may lack the skills to accommodate the new conditions. 

Loss of teeth can also change facial features, changing anything from lip support to the thinning of lips. The difference in chewing efficiency from a person with natural teeth to dentures is quite dramatic. An individual’s chewing efficiency decreases by 58% with the use of dentures. And twenty-nine percent of individuals with dentures are only able to eat soft or mashed foods, 50% avoid many foods, and 17% claim they eat more efficiently without their dentures. Eighty-eight percent of patients with lower dentures claim a higher rate of instability, while 80% percent of the patients treated with implant-supported appliances judged their overall psychological health as improved. These individuals also reported they view the implants supportive appliance as an integral part of their body.  This finding was not reported with those that have dentures only. 

In the United States, more than $143 million is spent each year on adhesives.  Patients with dentures are willing to accept the unpleasant taste, the need for recurring application, inconsistent denture fit, embarrassing circumstances, and continued expense for the sole benefit of increased retention of the dentures. When comparing dentures with implant appliances, the implant appliance offers increased longevity, improved function, jaw bone preservation, and better psychological results. A major advantage with implant appliances is they cannot decay and the related 10-year survival is greater than 95%. An implant appliance will show similar chewing efficiency as that of natural teeth, as well as, reducing extensions. This is beneficial to new denture wearers because the extended portions of dentures may affect the taste of food and cause soft tissue to be more tender in certain areas the dentures cover. Implant appliances often offer a more predictable treatment than traditional restorations and the success rate, depending on the clinician placing them and maintaining them, is on average over 95%.

If you are interested in learning more about the various benefits of implant appliances to decide if they are the right fit for you, contact the Kusek Dentistry team at 605-371-3443 or request an appointment on our website.