Dental Implants vs. Dentures

Dental Implants vs. Dentures

If you’re missing one or more teeth, dental implants and dentures are among the options available to complete your smile. There are a variety of factors that go into deciding which treatment plan is right for you, such as your dental budget and personal oral health. Both implants and dentures have their own sets of pros and cons, but Dr. Michael Hanna of Santee Dental Group can help you decide what strategy is best for your needs and lifestyle, so you can restore your grin and your confidence. 

First Things First, How Do They Work?

Dental Implants

The dental implant process consists of several steps, performed over the course of several months, resulting in a virtually permanent solution to missing teeth. Before starting the implant process, Dr. Hanna will determine if your jaw bone is strong and healthy enough to support an implant using advanced imaging technology. He’ll also discuss sedation options with you, to keep you relaxed and comfortable throughout the treatment. Once you’ve been given the all-clear, the dental implant procedure can begin.

Dr. Hanna will start by cleaning and numbing the area before creating an opening in the gum and jaw tissue. He’ll then place a prosthetic metal root, called a post, into the jaw bone and suture the opening shut, then you’ll be sent home to heal. The initial healing process will only take 1-2 weeks, but it will be another 3-6 months before your jaw bone bonds with the implant, securing the prosthetic through a process called “osseointegration.”

Once the healing process is complete, your crown can be placed, and your smile will be complete. Implant restorations result in a strong, natural-looking and feeling bite that doesn’t require special care outside of normal good hygiene habits. The process is a bit more involved, but is a great option for long-lasting results.

Dentures

Dentures are removable dental prosthetics that come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and can be used to replace a full set of teeth, or just a few, depending on your needs. They can be an effective solution for all patients, regardless of their bone density. 

First, we’ll create impressions of your lower or upper gums, (or both), and Dr. Hanna will study your bite and the alignment of your jaw, ensuring a comfortable fit. We’ll create a temporary set so we can make any final adjustments, before producing the finished product. 

Dentures look just like natural teeth, and can be held in place in a variety of ways. Full sets are often held in place with special adhesives, although some patients may benefit from implant-supported dentures if they have the bone-density for them. Partial dentures can snap into an implant, or the surrounding teeth like a retainer. Dental bridges, also known as fixed partial dentures, are attached to surrounding teeth, but are not removable. 

Which One Is Right For Me?

There are many factors to consider when deciding what kind of smile restoration is best for you. Dr. Hanna will help you make the right decision for your oral health needs, but here are some things to consider before beginning the process. 

Dental implants cost more than dentures, but they also last longer. Ideally, a properly placed implant can last decades with regular checkups and good dental hygiene habits. While dentures are a more affordable option, they require adjustments every now and then, and eventually will need to be replaced entirely. 

Dentures also require a less invasive procedure when compared to implant placements and can be ready in a few weeks or less, but they rely on adhesives or remaining teeth for support. They may move around, and have the potential to create sores where they come into contact with the gums. Implants hold firmly in place, but require oral surgery and several months of recovery before they can support a crown. 

The best way to find out which treatment is right for you is to give Santee Dental Group a call at (619) 449-8622 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hanna today. We’ll walk you through the processes step by step, evaluate your oral health, and get to know you personally, so together, we can restore your grin in a way that fits your budget and lifestyle.

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