Dentures have a long history. Throughout time those attempting to remedy the problem of eating and speaking when teeth are missing or failing have tried various materials to replace them. Early dentures were often extremely painful, and those who used them for a period of time often opted to do without them. Today dentures are made with a more natural look and they are fitted carefully. Used to replace teeth damaged by decay or gum disease, these can be the best choice if there are serious issues with the jaw, or if an individual has medical conditions that would make implant surgery a risk to health.


Because dentures fail to stimulate the gum and bone when eating the same way teeth do, bone loss can become a factor. When there’s a loss of bone the dentures can become ill fitting. Dentists will need to check for problems such losing the width and height in the jawbone and visit a dentist periodically. Often it is necessary for dentures to be refitted, or to have new dentures made for a better fit. A dentist can recommend the best adhesive to use in keeping well-fitted dentures in place.


Implants are strong and sturdy, as these have directly fused to the bone. A hole is drilled into the jaw and the implant is affixed to this spot. As the bone heals, the implant is fused or united directly to the jaw. The implant ends in a screw type opening and here the prosthetic tooth can be fitted until it aligns with surrounding teeth for a natural look. This new replacement tooth has the support of both the implant and bone so the function is much like a natural tooth. Usually, those who have implants see less bone loss than those who have dentures. While a simple in office procedure of realigning the replacement is sometimes necessary it’s very rare for implants to need replacement. These typically last for decades, and with care usually have no need for additional work.


With implants, it’s necessary to have surgery to implant the tooth. Occasionally, bone loss will make the implant unstable and it may be necessary to have a bone graft before this procedure. It is still necessary to care for the new tooth as it is with the existing natural teeth. Flossing and brushing are necessary to ensure the health of the gums. Most patients will need recovery time while the bone and implant fuse together.

Ultimately, your dentist or oral surgeon will make a recommendation for either dentures or implants based on your oral health and other factors. If, however, you are uncomfortable with the recommendation, you should not hesitate to ask him or her questions about other options.