Many people experience tooth loss as they age for one reason or another. Unfortunately, missing teeth can cause considerable embarrassment, and you may find yourself covering your mouth when you smile or avoiding smiling altogether. There are a few main ways that tooth loss can be corrected, including dentures and dental implants, and weighing the pros and cons of these options can help you to choose the best one for you.

The Pros and Cons of Dentures

Dentures are a set of false teeth, and in the past, they were the only option that people who experienced tooth loss had in order to improve the function and appearance of their mouth. To keep the teeth in place, a denture adhesive or paste is needed. Without this adhesive, dentures can slip out of their proper place while speaking and eating, and this can result in considerable embarrassment. Partial dentures are available if you have some teeth remaining, but they can promote decay and infection in the remaining teeth if they don’t fit properly.

There are some benefits associated with dentures that have people continuing to choose this system. If you have an unhealthy or weak jaw or gums, dentures are a great way to ensure that you can still have the appearance of an entire set of teeth. Advances have also been made to make false teeth look more natural, so you don’t have to let everyone know that you are wearing dentures. The upfront costs with dentures are also less expensive than dental implants, but it is important to note that you will likely need to replace them every few years.

The Pros and Cons of Dental Implants

Dental implants are an innovative and modern solution to correct missing teeth. Unlike dentures, which simply provide a façade of natural teeth, implants serve as an actual replacement. They are implanted into the jaw or gum so that they serve as an anchor for dental crowns. This is a long-term solution to tooth loss, as implants won’t move or slip. They don’t require removal, special cleaning, or the use of adhesives, and maintenance is relatively simple. As long as you care for your implants the same way that you would care for your natural teeth, a dental implant can be a lifelong solution to tooth loss.

Dental implants do cost more upfront than dentures, and this is why many people choose dentures without further investigating implants as an option. However, when you consider the additional costs of dentures, including cleaning solutions, adhesives, repairs, and denture replacement, dental implants are often a better financial solution and well worth the extra upfront cost.

Before you schedule your dental implant procedure, you will also want to check with your dental insurance company to see if they will cover the cost. Most dental insurance policies won’t cover the cost of dental implants or bone grafts, although they may cover part of the procedure or the crown. If your insurance won’t be covering some of your procedure, ask your dental office about payment options or financing to help with the rest of the cost.

Last Reviewed By Dr. Eli Friedman on October 14, 2020