There are two popular solutions to replace missing teeth. Either you can opt for a dental implant or you can choose to have a denture made for you. Dentures are complete sets of artificial teeth. They are commonly made of acrylic, cast metal and flexible plastics for their base and plastic or porcelain for the tooth part. Today however there are several other composite materials available, but plastic and porcelain are the most common.


Dental implants are made by dentist out of an artificial tooth with a titanium (metal) root that is fixed into your jawbone. The procedure for getting a dental implant requires local anesthesia. The dentist drills into the jaw bone and creates a socket for the titanium root; the tooth is then fixed into its socket. The whole process may take a few months to complete satisfactorily.

Dentures on the other hand take a few weeks to make. Impressions of the tooth and jaw structure are taken and molds are created and tested. Once the fittings are comfortable, the final cast is made.

Comfort.
Dental implants are very stable and comfortable as they have a firm root in the jaw bone, just like natural teeth. There are no problems while chewing or speaking and they are cleaned during regular brushing. No special care is required and the implant can be treated as a normal natural tooth.

Dentures on the other hand tend to move a bit from their position when speaking and chewing. New users make a lot of clicking sounds as well, which gets very irritating for some. The upper portion of the denture is more firm as the palate portion provides additional suction support. The lower portion may slip a bit while chewing. Getting used to a denture may take time.

Use.
Dental implants are used to replace one or more missing or damaged teeth. The implants are however not recommended for diabetics and smokers as complications may arise.

Dentures are used when you have lost several teeth due to an accident, disease, decay or age. The denture replaces your whole set of teeth.

Although dental implants can be used to replace several teeth as well, but the procedure costs a lot more and can only be done if you have a strong jaw bone to support the implants.

Maintenance.
Dental implants last a lifetime and need literally no special maintenance. Once the fitting procedure is tweaked to optimum, you won’t need any additional stuff.

Dentures require scheduled visits to the dentist. The human jawbone and gum structure changes with age and the denture will need re-aligning, re-basing and sometimes a complete re-design. The denture is worn and so requires the user to clean and maintain it. Proper oral hygiene is necessary to prevent bacteria from colonizing.

Though dental implants are the better option of the two, they do have their disadvantages. First of all they are very expensive and secondly it takes a lot of time for Osseo-integration to occur. The whole process may take up to 6 months.

On the other hand, dentures are much quicker as a procedure and also cheaper, but they require frequent adjustments, maintenance and can be irritating at times.
 
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