Plenty of people lose teeth over the course of their lifetimes. In fact, 42% of all Americans over age 65 are currently missing all of their teeth. This number will hopefully decrease over the years as oral health awareness spreads, but it’s still important to keep track of the newest teeth replacement techniques.
At the forefront of most discussions on teeth replacement are dentures and dental implants. But which one will really serve you well in the long run?
Dentures vs. Dental implants:
Dentures are molded in the shape of a full set of teeth and are placed on top of the gums. Dental implants, on the other hand, are prosthetics stabilized by titanium posts, which screw into the jawbone and act like the roots of teeth.
This means that dental implants are held in place by synthetic roots, giving them more in common with natural teeth. Because of this stable base, implants give users a wider range of force and manipulation when chewing.
Dentures, however, are only stabilized through close proximity to gums and bone tissue. Adhesives may be used, but they’re often messy, and can still result in slippage. This can make wearers more self-conscious when they smile, and it also reduces their ability to bite or chew certain foods.
Dentures only allow for about 50 pounds of maximum biting force. To put that into perspective, the difference between 250 and 50 pounds of chewing force can mean the difference between eating a steak for dinner, or eating oatmeal. Wearing dentures often means being forced to avoid the hard fruits and vegetables that compose a healthy diet as well.
Dental implants have up to 70% greater biting force than dentures, often coming in at a powerful 450 pounds per square inch. In contrast, natural teeth can withstand a biting pressure of up to 540 pounds per square inch, meaning that implants restore your bite almost to its original strength.
Though they’re often a bit more expensive, dental implants are almost always a better option if you’re looking for a replacement smile, especially since they have a much higher success rate in the long term. You can even have your current dentures stabilized using dental implants if you don’t want to switch over completely. Talk to your dentist to find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants.