The senior members of our society have a lot to deal with health-wise. From the increased risk of falls to their higher susceptibility to Covid-19, it’s enough to keep anyone busy without the added issue of dental problems. Sadly, by the time we reach the senior years, however, many of us have lost at least some natural teeth to cavities or injury.
For a long time, the traditional solution for seniors has been to get fitted with full or partial dentures, but now there’s a better way for many: dental implants. Here are the pros and cons of opting for dentures compared with the possibilities offered by implants.
Cheaper is not always better, as people with many types of dentures have found out the hard way. Sure, you can get an inexpensive denture from any dentist or denturist, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to solve your problems. Canada is full of seniors wearing dentures that don’t fit properly, dentures they have to remove to eat, and dentures that spend their lives in the bathroom rather than in the mouth.
A good set of precision dentures costs from $3,500 upwards, which is very closely comparable with dental implant costs. So if you’re going to spend the money to get a job well done, why not go for the superior option right off the reel?
We’re all in such a hurry these days, it even spills over into our senior years. As we explained in this blog post on the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants, getting implants fitted takes around 9 months from start to finish. By comparison, having a full set of dentures made and fitted can be done over a period of 3 to 4 weeks. This makes dentures very attractive to people who are in a hurry to resume their social lives, but it doesn’t mean that you’re going to get the best solution.
Seniors typically don’t want to take the risks associated with having a general anesthetic, which is required for the insertion of the metal posts used to mount dental implants in the mouth. Getting dentures usually doesn’t require any sedation, unless you have natural teeth that need extracting before the dentures can be fitted.
For those patients who need tooth extractions, it’s often necessary to have a general anesthetic anyway, so you might as well have dental implant surgery done as well. The risk doesn’t disappear, but it isn’t any greater.
Most dental procedures carry a degree of discomfort, and if you have natural teeth extracted you’ll experience some of this. Getting dentures isn’t a painful process, but if you get an ill-fitting set you can expect to spend years trying to resolve it. The dental implants procedure occurs in several stages, starting with gum or bone augmentation if needed.
This is followed by the insertion of the implant posts, which need to heal before your dentist can mount the artificial teeth onto them. This means, effectively, that you might have two or three incidents of discomfort, but once the implants are in you won’t ever have to go through pain again.
Wearing dentures has been a necessary evil for years for so many seniors, causing daily discomfort and inconvenience. How often have your senior parents and grandparents wished they didn’t have to deal with dentures, or refused a choice item at a Thanksgiving dinner because their dentures can’t handle it?
With dental implants, the discomfort is over as soon as the implants are fitted and healed in your mouth. They work exactly like natural teeth, enabling you to eat just about anything. And you’ll never again need fillings or extractions! Isn’t that an improvement on wearing dentures for the rest of your life?
Oral hygiene is an important factor in overall and systemic health, and this applies regardless of whether you have dentures, dental implants or any other oral appliance. Maintenance of a denture requires daily cleaning and soaking in special solutions to remove any plaque and tartar that could build up and cause infection or halitosis.
With dental implants, however, all the patient has to do is brush their teeth in the same way they do with natural teeth. Their similarity to natural teeth means it’s a simple matter to get professional teeth cleanings, too, which helps you to maintain your hygiene as well as your relationship with your dentist.
Many denture-wearers never go to the dentist, so they can’t get regular checkups of their gums and intro-oral tissues, oral cancer screening or the great feeling that comes from well-polished natural teeth.
To discover whether dentures or dental implants are the right option for you, please contact our dentists in Delta BC today. Click here to schedule your appointment.