Dental Implants vs. Dentures: Which is Better?

San francisco dental implants

When looking into the differences between having dentures or dental implants to repair or replace missing teeth, people often wonder which choice is best for them. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to each choice. Dentures have been used for many years. It is said that President George Washington had a pair of ivory dentures. There were even dentures made from wood. In modern times, dentures are more eco-friendly and usually made from plastics and porcelain.

The cost difference between having dentures and having dental implants placed in your jawbone is significant. Dentures can range from $1000 to $3000 per denture. That price depends on the placement of the dentures and the material used to make them. For dental implants the cost is roughly $24,000 to $60,000 but that price range may not include any needed bone grafting procedures.

If cost isn’t a concern then having dental implants are the best option. Dentures are more cost effective but sometimes using full dentures can cause gum irritation and sores due to fitting difficulties as well as problems with speaking and eating. When using partial dentures, they are usually attached with a metal clasp which can cause erosion, decay and weakening of the neighboring teeth. Most of all, any denture that rests directly on the gums may accelerate the deterioration of the jawbone underneath the gums to the point where the denture cannot be comfortably worn at all. And that may limit the option for implants in the future.

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When having dental implants, the cost is high, but with proper oral hygiene and proper bite forces dental implants can last a lifetime. Implants are placed in your jawbone and work just like your natural teeth. One advantage of having implants over dentures is that you will have a stronger bite than you would with even properly fitting dentures but without all of the disadvantages of dentures. The individual cost of each implant is between $2000 and $5000 per implant, of course the price variation depends on the placement of the missing teeth and the health of the jawbone.

There is a third option. For a cost that is roughly 60 to 70 percent less than having dental implants, you can have mini implants placed in your jaw which will better secure dentures in your mouth. This would essentially cut back on some of the disadvantages of dentures but have some of the security of regular dental implants. Being properly educated on your dental options, will help you and your dentist decide which choice is best for your mouth, your oral health and your wallet.

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Before and After Photos

A missing lower front tooth replaced by a fixed all-ceramic bonded bridge. (a removable stayplate)

Photo by Dr. Leo Arellano

Crowns - Bridges – BNA Image – 17
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We’ve gone to Dr Arellano for many years and have never been disappointed with any of the work he’s done. Recently my husband broke a tooth and Leo got him in and had the tooth repaired within a few short hours. Service like that is very hard to finds these days. His office staff is fantastic. Nice people you are always glad to see. I would highly recommend Dr Arellano to anyone who is searching for an honest, competent, well trained dentist.

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