Ask any American about George Washington, and they’re bound to mention the fact that he had wooden teeth. But it turns out that’s just a myth! While the premiere president did have dentures, they were made from human and cow teeth as well as elephant ivory.
Chances are that Washington’s faux chompers were pretty uncomfortable. Nowadays, dentures are much better than in the 18th century.
But when it comes to dentures vs implants, which is superior? Join us as we shed some light on the subject of tooth replacement options.
Dentures vs Implants
Both dental implants and dentures serve as replacements for missing teeth. Other than their purpose, however, the two share very few characteristics. Which you choose will depend on how many of your teeth are missing, your overall oral health, the condition of your jawbone, and of course your budget.
If you have none of your natural teeth left, you will likely require a full set of dentures. But there is also the option of partial dentures. You can get an upper set, a lower set, or dentures that replace several adjoining teeth.
The hallmark of dentures is that they are removable. Each night, a denture wearer takes out his or her teeth and usually sets them to soak in a cleaning solution. Dentures are usually secured to the gums using a specially made dental adhesive.
One drawback to dentures is that they may be poor fitting and uncomfortable. As you age and the structure of your mouth changes naturally, a set of dentures that once fit you just fine may begin to cause issues or even pain.
Dentures also restrict what types of food the wearer can eat. Very crunchy items like whole apples and corn on the cob can dislodge them. Particles of food can also make their way between the dentures and the gums, leading to discomfort.
Lastly, dentures can be embarrassing. If they don’t fit properly, they can click or make other telltale noises. They can also move around in your mouth or come loose altogether, especially if they don’t fit well begin with.
Some three million Americans have one or more dental implants — and it’s easy to see why this number is growing annually. Dental implants are closer in appearance and function to your natural teeth than dentures can ever be.
These replacement teeth are implanted directly into your jawbone with a titanium stem. The stem eventually bonds with your own bone. This means that they can’t come loose or cause discomfort.
It also means that implants don’t require any special care beyond the usual regimen of brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist. And you can eat anything you normally would, including steak, caramel apples, and fresh corn on the cob.
Once you have a dental implant, it’s very easy to forget that you have it at all!
The main drawback to dental implants is that they can be pricey. They are generally too cost-prohibitive if your natural teeth are all missing. If you just need a few teeth replaced, however, dental implants are the way to go.
Most patients with implants agree that their low maintenance and high function make them well worth the price.
If you are missing teeth and trying to decide between dentures vs implants, speak to your dentist about the options. Whichever replacement method you use, your new teeth are bound to be better than George Washington’s cow-tooth dentures!
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