What’s the Difference Between Dentures and Dental Implants?

What’s the Difference Between Dentures and Dental Implants?

With nearly 70 percent of adults age 35 to 44 in the United States missing at least one tooth, questions about dentures and dental implants aren’t uncommon. People lose teeth for a variety of reasons: an accident, gum disease, and tooth decay are some of the most common. Many patients feel uncomfortable with gaps in their grin. Dentures and dental implants are two alternatives to missing teeth but there are key differences between them.


DenturesDentures have been around for centuries. Contrary to popular belief, they weren’t made of wood. Ivory was the most common material used. George Washington wore dentures but they were made of human teeth and other materials as well as ivory. In fact, he had some of the highest quality dentures available at the time. Over the years, dentures have improved in fit, although ivory isn’t available anymore, they aren’t a good option for everyone.

How Dentures Work

Dentures are made to be put in and removed as needed. They must be cleaned separately, instead of brushing your teeth, and denture cream is needed to secure them in your mouth. Dentures sit on top of the gums and if not secure, they move or fall out while eating or talking. Dentures are easier to adjust as time goes on and the gums or jaw change, and they are an affordable option. However, dentures only last seven to 15 years and then must be replaced.

Problems With Dentures

Problems With DenturesFull dentures rest on top of the gums while partial dentures clip to adjoining teeth. If a partial denture isn’t fitted properly the tooth next to it can become infected or decay. This means you’ll need a filling, or you might lose that tooth, too. Full dentures can irritate your gums and mouth if they aren’t fitted properly. You must be careful with your dentures, though. They can break or become damaged if you drop them. Some people find they’re unable to chew certain foods even with dentures which limits their food choices. Without their dentures in, they can eat even less.

Dentures are a good option for patients with weak or unhealthy jaws or gums. They can also be a good alternative if finances are a concern.

Dental Implants

Dental ImplantsDental implants are a more recent invention and an improvement, for many patients, over dentures. They look like your natural teeth once they’re in, allow you to chew like normal, and maintain your typical oral hygiene practice. To be a good candidate for dental implants, your gums and jaw must be healthy enough for the surgical procedure required.

How Dental Implants Work

Dental implants use titanium posts that are surgically inserted into your jawbone. The teeth are attached to the posts. You only need a few posts to be implanted to give you a full mouth of teeth. Two or more implants can hold several replacement teeth – so you don’t need a separate implant for each missing tooth if you choose a full implant replacement.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Benefits of Dental ImplantsWhile dental implants are more expensive than dentures, they also last 20 years or more. If you practice good oral hygiene, you can keep them for years before worrying about a replacement. Implants also preserve your jawbone and help maintain your facial structure. This keeps you looking your natural age longer. Denture wearers sometimes appear older than they are, especially when their teeth are out. Because implants work like natural teeth, you can eat all of the foods you could with your real teeth and maybe even more as you’ll be pain-free and have all your teeth, unlike before your implants.

Dental implants can be used if you’re only missing one or two teeth or if you need to replace most or all of your teeth. Because dental implants look and function like natural teeth, no one will be able to tell you have them.


Many people are embarrassed by their missing teeth or their quality of life suffers because of it. Dentures are the original option to reduce embarrassment and improve life, as well as nutrition. At the Dental Brothers we believe that while there was a time when dentures were the only choice for people, dental implants are a much better option for many patients. They look natural, function like real teeth, and last much longer than dentures. If you’re missing one tooth or several, dental implants can give you back your smile and your ability to chew and eat certain foods.