Category Archives: Dental Implants

How to Decide Between Dental Implants or Dentures?

10 Questions to help decide between dental implants or dentures:

Now that you’ve read about the benefits of both dental implants and dentures, it’s time to decide which one is best for you. Here is a list of question to better help you decide between dental implants or dentures. Please answer each question with either a “yes” or “no“:

  1. Have you worn dentures in the past but ended up being unhappy with most of them? Especially as of the last few years.
  2. Do you avoid eating hard food such as meat or other difficult to chew items with your false teeth?
  3. If you wear upper dentures do you find yourself gagging, unable to taste food, and hating how large and bulky they are?
  4. If you wear lower dentures do they constantly move around, cut your gums and refuse to remain in place, even when you use denture glue?
  5. Do you want the absolute best that money can buy for your mouth?
  6. Can you afford dental treatment that costs upwards of $3,500? If not, do you at least have good enough credit to finance treatment costing a few thousand dollars?
  7. Do you still consider yourself young?
  8. Are your jawbones strong enough to support dental implants?
  9. Are you healthy enough to undergo a surgery to place dental implants?
  10. Do you have the time to spend multiple visits over the course of a whole year with your dentist? Plus time to periodically follow up with your treatment afterwards?

Good candidate for placing dental implants

If you answered “yes” to most of the above questions then strongly consider getting dental implants over dentures.

Questions 1 through 5: Really wanting and needing dental implants

There’s no question that dental implants is the best treatment that dentistry has to offer. Yet before you decide to go ahead with implants, you need to make sure that you really need or want them. Receiving dental implants is a huge commitment, much more so than dentures are.

However should you elect to go with dental implants, it’s very unlikely that you’ll regret your decision. Nothing comes even close to dental implants, especially not dentures. You will talk, chew, taste, look and overall function much better with dental implants as opposed to dentures in your mouth. After all, why would people invest so heavily in implants if they were similar to dentures? So if you want the absolute best, then the decision between dental implants or dentures should be an easy one to make.

Question 6: Affording dental implants

The least expensive dental implant treatment you will find is for placing two mini dental implants to secure your existing denture. This treatment costs at least $3,500 for the two implants and denture set that goes with it. Keep in mind that this is the price for only one arch, meaning either the top or bottom set.

If you can want an actual bridge which stays permanently on top of your implants, then expect treatment costs to start at well over ten thousands dollars. Price range for all-on-four implant and bridge treatment typically varies between 15 to 50 thousand dollars per arch!

Ultimately, dental implant treatment needs to be paid for either by cash or through financing. Having dental insurance won’t help you much here. Dental insurances typically don’t cover dental implants, especially when talking about full mouth replacement cases. You’d be lucky if they cover a portion of your dentures at best.

Question 7: Psychological impact of wearing fixed or removable teeth

Having teeth which stay in your mouth or can be removed will definitely impact your psyche. If you feel old then it’s easy to justify wearing dentures. But if you’re still young at heart, regardless of your actual age, then you surely don’t want to able to take your teeth in and out. Getting dental implants can make you feel ten years and boast your overall confidence. You’ll also probably look that many years younger as well. In fact most people you meet will think that they are your own teeth. And we promise to keep it a secret and not tell anyone else either!

Questions 8 and 9: Medically and dentally qualifying for implants

As much as we all want dental implants, not everyone without teeth will qualify. First off, if you have a medical issue that compromises your bone quality or the healing process then you can’t place implants. For instance, certain cancer medications as well as aggressive radiation therapy to the head and neck region may disqualify you. Also some heavy smokers can only receive implants if they are willing to commit to quitting smoking for a while.

In addition to medical exclusions, there are also dental related issues which could make placing dental implants difficult or even impossible. The most common dental limitation is not having enough jawbone to receive the implants. Without sufficient bone width or height to accommodate dental implants, you might not qualify as easily for treatment. Occasionally your bone quality is so bad that you simply don’t qualify for implants no matter what. However, most of the times there are solutions for these cases if you are persistent enough:

  • One option is a bone graft procedure, such as a block bone graft or sinus lift. These will help restore additional bone to the region so your dentist can place implants afterwards.
  • A much simpler option is to concentrate the implants where there actually is good enough bone. Essentially your dentist will place more implants in the front region of your jaws where there typically is better quality bone and avoid the back regions which are usually problematic. If you’re thinking that location of dental implants has to correspond to where your teeth originally were then you are mistaken. The location is irrelevant so long as enough implants are placed to handle the bite load and pressure.

Of course only a skillful dentist or oral surgeon can correctly access your treatment plan. So make sure that you’re going to a skilled and experienced implant dentist who knows what he or she is talking about. Otherwise you could end falsely believing that you can never receive dental implants while in fact there is a viable solution out there for you!

Question 10: Time commitment and follow through

Receiving dental implants takes a long time. Budget between six months to a year for average treatment cases. Think of it as if you were getting braces and had to see your orthodontist over and over for a one to two year period. If you can’t commit to this, then don’t get dental implants. For instance if you’re always traveling back and forth or if you might relocate to a different city, then it might be best to postpone treatment for a while.

Also, don’t try to rush your dentists as proper treatment takes time. There’s nothing your dentist can do about how fast your body heals and how well it accepts the implants. All he or she can do is place your implants in a correct position and angle and the rest is up to your own body. Sometimes healing occurs in as little as 3 to 4 months while other times it takes as long as 9 months just for the implants to heal and integrate with your jawbone. If your implants are loaded with teeth too quickly, your whole treatment can fail.

In addition to time set aside for your treatment, you must also allow time for follow up afterwards. Problems with implant placement is rare when performed correctly, but problems with the bridge or denture which sits on top of the implants is actually quite common. Don’t get frustrated if you bridge isn’t make correctly the first time or if the denture doesn’t lock in as tight as you had hoped for. These problems can be fixed however they require time and patience.

Good candidate for denture treatment

If you answered “no” to most of the above questions then you should do just fine with dentures. There’s no reason to consider getting dental implants over dentures if you’re already happy with what you’ve got. If you’ve been taking good care of your false teeth and have strong enough jawbone to help hold your dentures in place, then you probably love your dentures just the way they are. In fact you most likely eat, speak and function with them without any issues whatsoever as if they were your own teeth. If this applies to you, then there is very little advantage to getting dental implants and it’s probably not worth it. Consider buying yourself a new car instead!

Final thoughts on how to decide between dental implants or dentures

If you really want dental implants and can afford them, then it can change truly change the way your entire mouth feels and functions. Dental implants anchor your false teeth in place to keep them stable. Placing just a few dental implants can change your biting ability and increase your chewing force by as much as four folds as compared to full dentures. This means you can finally bite into that steak or apple that you’ve been avoiding for so long!

Dental implants allow you to eat better, speak more clearly, taste food better and  feel more comfortable. They are all around a better and more comfortable treatment than dentures are. In fact when you’re done receiving implants you might even feel like your original teeth are back.

What should I do if I want dental implants but can’t afford them?

Getting a full set of teeth with dental implants is very expensive. If you can’t quite afford dental implants, then turn your focus onto improving your denture set. Maybe you just need a new denture or possibly require a touch-up on your existing set. Consider talking to your dentist about available solutions to help improve your denture experience. Here are some ideas to improve your denture experience:

  • Adjust your dentures to remove areas that are causing your lesions or soreness.
  • Re-enforce the interior of your denture for a better fit  through a process known as a denture reline. Denture reline can really help improve the grip and fit of your dentures when performed correctly.
  • If you haven’t tried denture glue before, it might be time that you did. Keep in mind that you lose your jawbone over time, so it’s very possible that dentures which were fitting you very well 10 years ago are now quite loose. Using just a little denture glue can make a big difference in some cases.
  • You might just be due  a new set so consider receiving new dentures.

There are many factors which affect ones decision to go with dental implants or dentures to replace their missing teeth. However keep in mind that both treatment options can work very well if executed properly and under the right circumstances. Also don’t forget that they are both a much better solution than having no teeth at all and simply gumming it.

What should I look for when shopping for dental implants?

Be careful to only seek implant treatment with an experienced dentist. In order to receive successful treatment you must go to a very skilled dentist, receive quality implants and have a skillful technician make your denture or crowns. Otherwise you will surely regret it. Here are things to watch out for when shopping for dental implants:

  • Bargains and shortcuts usually don’t work when it comes to dental implants. If you can’t afford them then don’t get them.
  • Places that advertise inexpensive dental implants are either misguiding you or will yield questionable results. It’s best that you avoid these places. Keep in mind that dental implants can fail easily if your dentist doesn’t take the right precautions to ensure their success or uses low quality dental implants.

Stories of incomplete implant treatment or cheap implants which failed soon after placement are all too common these days. In fact, you’re almost always better sticking with your dentures than going for the biggest bargain and cheapest deal you can find. You want your dentist to stand by his or her work. You also want them to be around for another 5 or 10 more years at a minimum just in case you run into issues and need to revisit them for adjustments.

NEXT >> Advantages of dental implants over dentures

Advantages of dentures over dental implants

Advantages of Dentures over Implants

Comparing dentures to dental implants

Now we know that not everyone can afford dental implants. First off, dental implants are very expensive. Secondly, just about no dental insurance covers them. Sure there may be an insurance here or there that covers individual dental implants, yet none of them cover replacing all of your teeth with implants. As a result, you have to either pay or possibly finance implant treatment. If you can’t afford it then you must stick with dentures over implants for the time being.

In addition to the costs of implants, there’s also a surgery involved in implant placement. On top of that treatment typically requires months or even years to fully complete. So while you keep thinking and saving up for implants why don’t we go ahead and review the benefits of dentures over implants:

Advantages of dentures over dental implants

There are typically two options available to those considering dental implants to replace all their missing teeth:

  • The less costly treatment option is an actual denture which locks onto several dental implants. This is known as an implant-supported denture or overdenture.
  • The more costly and effective treatment option is a long span bridge which is fully supported and sits on top of several dental implants. This is known as an implant-retained bridge or all-on-fours.

So your choices to replacing all of your missing teeth comes down to either dentures, implants that support dentures or a bridge that sits atop implants. Lets take a look at the advantages of dentures over implants in the forms discussed above:

Dentures cost much less than dental implants

While dental implants may give you great results, they do come at a very high price. Implant-supported dentures typically cost several thousands of dollars for the implants as well as the new denture that sits on top. Implant-retained bridge usually sets you back several tens-of-thousands for the implants as well as the bridge!

A full set of dentures costs much less than dental implants do. Typically each denture costs a couple hundred or at most just over a thousand dollars. Obviously this is very little in comparison to what dental implants cost. In fact it’s likely that you will pay the same for your entire denture as you would for a single dental implant!

Dentures aren’t actually expensive when you consider that one set replaces all of your missing teeth. Also dentists know that if you’re getting dentures over implants, you’re probably seeking the least expensive treatment option available. As such they try to charge you accordingly and keep your costs reasonable. After all, making a set of dentures isn’t too much work for your dentist given that the assistant and lab technician does most of their work. In fact it’s only in the United States and select countries that only a dentist is allowed to make dentures. In most other countries they have a denturist who makes your false teeth. Denturists might not be professionally educated, but it takes more artistic skills rather than a dental degree to fabricate dentures anyways.

Additionally, dentures are almost always a covered procedure by most, if not all, dental insurances. In fact insurances love paying for full dentures knowing that there’s no more teeth left in your mouth for them to pay towards! Even the worse government dental plans typically don’t cover much else but they do cover denture treatment for toothless individuals.

Receiving dentures is much easier than placing implants

To begin with, dental implants involve needles and surgeries while dentures don’t. Of course it’s true that dental implant placement isn’t really painful, but it’s still a surgery. So you might have taught you’re done getting needles once your last tooth was removed, but here you are preparing for yet another needle and surgical procedure!

Another issue with dental implants is that not everyone qualifies as easily for receiving them. Heavy smokers, radiation therapy patients and those with certain bone conditions may not qualify for implant placement altogether. Additionally, those with poor jawbone strength will have a hard time receiving implants as well. Keep in mind that teeth is what hold your jawbone in place. Once you lose all or your teeth, your jawbone starts to shrink very rapidly. If your teeth have been missing for a very long period, say several decades, then you may not be a suitable candidate for dental implants due to lack of sufficient jawbone.

Weak jawbone can’t support dental implants and failure rates go up substantially under in the absence of sufficient bone. In fact you might be required to get an additional surgery, such as a block bone graft or sinus lift, in order to create sufficient bone for implant placement. These additional surgical procedures are difficult, painful and very expensive. They also require months to years to yield satisfactory results. On top of that, there is an elevated chance that your body will reject the implants regardless of bone placement.

Time it takes to make dentures over implants

Making dentures takes anywhere from one to two months. Add another month or so for possible adjustments and getting accustomed to them, and you’re still only at three months. In fact there are places that have their own denture laboratory and fabricate false teeth within the same day. If you live in a country that has denturist you should be able to receive your dentures within just one to two days.

On the other hand, placing and restoring dental implants take a very long time. You’re generally looking at between six months to a year for most treatment cases. However if you run into problems, like say if an implant fails, of if you require additional surgeries for bone augmentation, then treatment could easily stretch beyond one year and possibly into a second year. Implant related procedures take much longer than dentures do and require a lifetime of follow-up thereafter to maintain.

It might just be that a better fitting denture solves your problems

Making a great set of false teeth is very challenging for most dentists believe or not. Not every dentist gets to make many dentures during their career, especially the ones who work in upper class neighborhoods. If you go to a dentist who hasn’t made hundreds of dentures already, chances of running into problems is very high. After all there are so many factors which affects the outcome that your dentist needs to pay close attention to:

  • Choosing the right size, color and location for your teeth.
  • Taking accurate impressions of your jaw so the technician can make you a well-fitting set of false teeth.
  • Measuring that your bite is correct and teeth touch one another appropriately.
  • Making sure the dentures gives your facial profile and lip positioning the right appearance.
  • Selecting the right shade and thickness of acrylic to correctly mimic your gum tissue.

Most people only think about the color and fit of their dentures when thinking about a good or bad denture. Yet each and everyone of these factors we just mentioned can make a big difference in how well your dentures experience is going to be. Only an experienced dentist using a skilled lab technician can make you a great set of dentures that you’re going to truly enjoy.

Chance are that if you go to a dentist without much denture experience or one who uses a budget lab, you’ll end up with a poorly fabricated set of false teeth. If you’re having problems with your current set of dentures due to their poor quality then consider the option that a better set might just resolve most of your issues. Of course this means going back to your dentist or possibly another one to receive a new set. However if it does save you from having to place implants in the end, then it was certainly worth it.

NEXT >> 10 Questions to help decide between dental implants or dentures

Advantages of dental implants over dentures

Full Mouth Dental Implant Replacement Options

8 Questions to help decide your best full mouth dental implant replacement option

As we mentioned there are two options to replace all of your teeth with full mouth dental implant:

  • Implant-supported dentures (overdentures)
  • Implant-retained bridges (all-on-fours)

It’s now time to decide which is the better treatment option for you. Here is a list of questions to better help you decide between implant-supported dentures and implant-retained bridges. Please answer each question with either a “yes” or “no“:

  1. Can you afford treatment that costs over ten-thousand dollars, knowing that you will just about have your original teeth back?
  2. Do you have time to spend a year going back and forth to the dentist?
  3. Is your jawbone strong enough to support multiple dental implants?
  4. If your jawbone is not strong enough, are you willing to receive advanced bone replacement surgeries to fix it?
  5. Have your teeth been missing for under a decade or so?
  6. Have you found a reputable and experienced dentist to perform your full mouth dental implant treatment?
  7. Do you refuse to accept the concept that you have dentures in your mouth?
  8. Are you young? Or do you still consider yourself young?

Good candidate for implant-retained bridge

If you answered “yes” to the majority of the listed questions then you are a good candidate for implant retained bridge treatment:

Questions 1: Costs

An implant-retained bridge is very expensive. The lowest price you can find would still be over $10,000 per arch. Don’t forget that this cost includes multiple dental implants, a precisely fabricated bridge as well as plenty of chair-time with your dentist. If you can’t afford this treatment then you should look into implant-supported dentures instead.

Question 2: Time

Implant-retained bridge treatment takes 6 months to a year to complete. You will likely have to see your dentist an average of once or twice per month until treatment is completed. So if you don’t have the time to dedicate to completing treatment, then you should probably hold off for a while. Overdentures and regular dentures are much quicker treatment options if time is of essence.

Question 3 through 5: Jawbone strength

It’s important that your jawbone is strong enough to support your dental implants. For implant-retained bridge your bone quality has to be pretty good. If you’ve lost your teeth for several decades already then chances are your jawbone is too weak to support your implants. Of course if you really want the implant-retained bridge, there are surgery options to restore your jawbone. A sinus graft or block bone graft are two examples of these surgical procedures. However these surgeries are both expensive and difficult and they are not for everyone.

Implant-supported denture doesn’t require your jawbone to be as strong and sturdy. Since it relies on smaller implants it isn’t as difficult to qualify for this treatment option.

Question 6: Qualified dentist

It is very important to find a good dentist to perform your full mouth dental implant treatment, regardless of which option you choose. Receiving full mouth dental implant is not like getting a cleaning or filling. Your dentist’s skill level and experience makes a big difference in the final outcome. Do your research to find a qualified and reputable dentist who is well known for all-on-four and other types of dental implant treatment. Ideally you want one who has successfully been in business for a long time and is planning on sticking around for a few more years.

Question 7 and 8: Psychological need

If you receive an implant-retained bridge you will feel like you have your own teeth back. With implant-supported dentures you’re still wearing dentures. This means that the dentures ca come in and out of your mouth. It also means that they can rock when you chew or eat on them. If you don’t want to feel as if you’re wearing dentures, then an implant-retained bridge is the better way to go. The younger you are the bigger the impact of this issue.

Good candidate for implant-supported denture

If you answered “no” to the majority of the listed questions then you are a good candidate for receiving implant-supported dentures instead.

Final thought on full mouth dental implant options

Full mouth dental implant replacement options essentially involve either a denture or bridge supported by implants. They are both excellent options to replace your missing teeth. In fact they are both far superior to simply wearing full (complete) dentures. Having just a few dental implants to anchor your false teeth can make a huge difference in the final outcome. In most cases it is an investment well worth making and rarely does anyone regret going for implants.

What to do if you are missing all of your teeth in one arch but have all of your teeth in the opposing arch? 

This is a rare case which we seldom see this. Most people tend to lose their teeth together so missing upper and lower teeth go hand in hand. However isolated cases do occur where you’re missing all of your top teeth but retain all bottom ones, or visa versa. In these cases you should consider receiving an implant-retained bridge over any other treatment.

When you have all of your teeth in one arch it places a lot of pressure on the opposite one. If you wear dentures or even an implant-supported denture, they will still move a lot when chewing or biting on them. Natural teeth place lots of pressure on dentures and wearing them against dentures is very difficult. Biting with natural dentition against an implant-retained bridge is much more comfortable and pleasant and worth the additional costs.

NEXT >> What are the advantages of implant-supported dentures (overdentures)?

What are the advantages on implant retained bridges (all-on-fours)?