Affordable Solutions for Missing Teeth: Dentures vs. Dental Implants (Victory Plaza Dental)

We do many things with our teeth, some so obvious that you might not think about they are damaged or lost. Several problems arise when your mouth is missing teeth:

  • It becomes harder to chew food, especially when eating foods that those missing teeth are designed for (like how canines grip and tear).
  • The gap in your smile may negatively influence speech.
  • Teeth adjacent to the missing one(s) may shift, letting bacteria infiltrate the gum line. The greater presence of bacteria can amplify gum disease, erode the jaw bone, and dissolve tissue. Tooth loss is like a line of dominoes, where problems eventually discourage the consumption of crunchy, healthy foods.
  • In extreme cases of bone/tissue loss, missing teeth can alter the face.

An Overview of Dentures

We provide multiple varieties of dentures to suit our patients’ needs. Dentures are the most common option for replacing missing teeth. A good candidate for dentures is someone whose bone density cannot support other methods or has severe oral trauma.

Types of Dentures

  • Full/Complete. These come as a paired set to replace the upper and lower rows of teeth. They are composed of either porcelain or acrylic and joined by a base of acrylic or metal. Complete dentures are most often recommended for patients missing all of their teeth. Both rows of dentures rest along the gum tissue and utilize natural suction to stay in place. Denture adhesive may also be recommended to give extra grip, prevent food from slipping underneath, and avoid pain.
  • Partials. These are removable and recommended for patients missing only a few teeth. “Flexible” dentures are partials made of a thin thermoplastic like nylon, making them more comfortable than traditional partials.

The Process of Getting Dentures

Getting dentures takes multiple steps based on your situation.

  1. We make a mold of your smile, accounting for your bite and the shape of your mouth.
  2. Any remaining natural teeth are extracted by an oral surgeon.
  3. You will be given temporary dentures until your gums have fully healed from the surgical extraction.
  4. Upon recovery, you will then be fitted with a custom, permanent set of teeth made in a lab.

While dentures are easier to use and more comfortable to install than other tooth replacement methods, they have drawbacks. Discomfort and soreness are a common complaint and dentures can be challenging to properly chew or speak with. Regardless of variety, dentures require routine care.

An Overview of Dental Implants

Not everyone who is missing teeth needs to get dentures; sometimes an implant will suffice.

The Procedure

Installing a dental implant is a multi-step process.

  1. The relevant damaged teeth are surgically removed to make way for the implant.
  2. If the patient’s jawbone is lacking in density, a graft may be performed as a remedy.
  3. The implant is implanted into the mouth.
  4. Osseointegration occurs, allowing for the bone to grow around and anchor the implant as the mouth heals.
  5. Once osseointegration has been completed, the gums are surgically reopened so that an abutment can be placed over the implant.
  6. An artificial tooth, otherwise known as a crown, is installed over the abutment.

Advantages of Implants

Two of the biggest advantages of a dental implant are its durability and stability. When properly cared for, implants can last a lifetime, though crowns need maintenance around every 15 years. Unlike traditional dentures, which rely on suction and adhesive, implants are tethered by your jaw; they do not budge.

Comparing and Contrasting Dentures and Dental Implants

If you need to replace some teeth, picking the best option can be daunting.

  • Cost: When it comes to paying for the procedure, dentures are less expensive than dental implants. One implant can cost more than an entire set of high-quality dentures.
  • Durability: Dental implants can last for decades; the average dentures need replacement every 7 years.
  • Comfort: Dental implants are far friendlier to the surroundings of your mouth than dentures. Furthermore, dental implants look and feel like your actual teeth.
  • Maintenance: A dental implant requires little maintenance, meaning you can mostly act like you still have the natural teeth. Dentures require daily cleanings, cannot be worn all night, and you cannot eat certain foods with them on.
  • Suitability: If you only have one or two missing teeth, are likely the better option. Furthermore, insufficient density around your jaw will necessitate receiving a bone graft before a dental implant becomes viable. Lastly, if you worry that dentures entail too much maintenance, you should consider implants.

On Affordability

When it comes to paying for the work done to restore your smile, there are several options available to you.

  • Insurance may cover some portion of the elements of work done to give you dentures or an implant. Be sure to look over your plan and verify exactly how much your insurer will cover and for which procedures.
  • If you are uninsured, we can work with you to create a structured payment plan. This involves paying a certain amount of money over a period of time until the bill is paid off.
  • If your credit is decent, financing may be yet another option available to pay off your dentures or implants.

Case Studies/Testimonials

  • Chase M. remarked how professional and empathetic the team was. Not only did he recommend us, but he also gushed over how gentle yet thorough our work installing his implant went.
  • Jasmine B. also felt the need to mention our friendliness, attention, and inquisitiveness of her dental implant needs. She expressed how easy we were to work with her insurer to optimize her benefits. Furthermore, she shared how we will establish a payment plan for our uninsured patients. She remains a regular patient with us.
  • Raul D. said that dealing with our staff was a pleasure due to their friendly nature and professional care.

Insights from the Experts

  • A research paper from 2019 found that dental implants lead to an overall greater quality of life than traditional dentures.
  • Harvard’s School of Dental Medicine states that implants offer the most natural tooth replacement option and can also tether dentures.
  • GoFundMe has suggested several options beyond insurance to afford care, including monetary grants, online fundraisers, and government assistance.

In Conclusion

If you are missing teeth, your choices boil down to two categories: dentures or dental implants. While each approach has its ups and downs, it is important to consider what your specific dental needs and wants are. After settling on a choice and consulting with Victory Plaza Dental affirms that choice, you can then consider payment options. While cash is easy, this work is costly enough that insurance, payment plans, financing, and other avenues are viable options. By getting your work done with Victory Plaza Dental, you can rest easy knowing that you are in competent, caring hands.