Dental implants and dentures are two popular choices for replacing missing teeth, but which one is right for you?

Understanding the differences between dental implants and dentures is essential to determine which option suits the patient. This decision can impact one’s oral health, quality of life and self-confidence. In this blog, we will compare dental implants and dentures, their benefits, the cost factors, the procedure, and other factors that can affect a patient’s decision. Keep reading to learn more about these two and make an informed decision.

  • Dental implants are artificial tooth roots surgically placed in the jawbone to hold replacement teeth and support chewing forces.

  • Dentures are removable false teeth that sits above the gum tissues and are held in place with the help of suction or adhesive. It is a less invasive procedure and patients  can wear them easily.

  • Dental implants can last longer than dentures and can help maintain oral health and prevent facial collapse by stimulating the bones. However, they are costly, require oral surgery, and may not be suitable for everyone.

  • Dentures last for a few years and allow patients to chew and smile again. But they require relining adjustments and have the risk of causing discomfort in the mouth as they tend to loosen over time.

  • When deciding between dental implants and dentures, patients should consider many factors such as longevity, comfort, appearance, maintenance, and impact on oral health.

Dental Implants: An Overview

Dental implants can act as the prosthetic tooth root because they are surgically inserted into the jawbone. They are commonly made of titanium, a biocompatible material that fuses with the bone, providing a stable foundation for the replacement teeth, such as dental crowns, bridges, and dentures. Since teeth implants are securely embedded in the jawbone, they are less likely to shift or slip in the mouth.

There are two main types of dental implants, namely, endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are the most common type that looks like a screw cylinder and are inserted directly into the jawbone. In contrast, subperiosteal implants are a metal framework that sits on top of the bone, under the gum tissue, to support artificial teeth.

Some pros and cons of dental implants are the following:


  • Long-lasting treatment.
    Dental implants are durable and can last for 25 years or more. The lifespan can vary depending on patient’s care and maintenance.

  • Help stimulate bone growth.
    A tooth implant can help stimulate the bone in the jaw, preventing deterioration and reducing the risk of further tooth loss.

  • Natural appearance.
    These teeth replacements can look and feel like natural teeth as they are embedded in the jawbone. They can prevent a facial collapse that may occur due to missing teeth.

  • Improved comfort and functionality:
    Dental implants are comfortable since they feel like natural teeth. They also function like real teeth, allowing you to eat and speak without difficulty.


  • Cost.
    Dental implants commonly cost higher than other tooth replacement options. It can be a significant factor for some individuals.

  • Surgical procedure.
    The placement of dental implants requires oral surgery, which can be intimidating for some patients.

  • Healing time:
    The tooth implant site needs time to heal before the final restoration can be placed. This healing process is dedicated to building a strong foundation for dental prosthetics.

  • Not suitable for everyone:
    Some individuals may not have enough bone density to support a tooth implant or may have medical conditions that can make dental implant surgery risky.

Dentures: An Overview

Dentures are removable dental appliances that can also restore missing teeth. They rely on the suction of the surrounding soft and hard tissues in the mouth to support them. The two different types of dentures are full and partial dentures. Full dentures are used to replace all of the teeth in the entire arch, while partial dentures can be used to replace a few missing teeth.

Traditional dentures are made of acrylic resin and are held in place with denture adhesives. They are custom-made, so they should fit comfortably in the mouth.

Here are some pros and cons of dentures to consider:


  • Cost-efficient.
    One of the major pros of dentures is that they are less expensive compared to dental implants.

  • Easy to repair.
    Dentists can easily restore damage or breakage done in dentures.

  • Removable.
    Conventional removable dentures can be taken off for cleaning. Some patients may find this as an advantage.

  • Support chewing.
    Individuals wearing dentures can chew and enjoy eating again.


  • Maintenance.
    One of the common cons of dentures is that they require thorough daily cleaning and maintenance, such as using denture cleansers to keep them in good shape. Other individuals may find the regular maintenance of dentures a hassle, especially if they have busy schedules.

  • Regular adjustment period.
    While dentures can last several years, they need relining every few years to maintain their comfortable fit. 

  • Discomfort:
    They can be uncomfortable in the mouth as time passes, which necessitates regular adjustments.

  • Shifts over time:
    The jawbone undergoes continuous bone loss once teeth are extracted. This results in the denture loosening or shifting over time, causing discomfort and affecting eating and speaking abilities.

Comparing Dental Implant Benefits and Denture Advantages

Weighing the benefits of dental implants versus dentures can be an important way to see and check which of the two fits the patient’s lifestyle and other personal preferences. Now, let’s compare these two major choices in terms of longevity, comfort, appearance, maintenance, and their impact on oral health:

  • Longevity and durability
    Dental implants are known for their impressive longevity, lasting over 30 years. However, due to wear and tear, the artificial tooth attached to it may need replacement after 15 to 20 years. In comparison, the average lifespan of dentures is between 7 and 10 years.

  • Comfort and fit
    Dental implants can provide a more natural feeling since they are anchored into the jawbone and beneath the gum tissues. They can provide good stability and support for replacement teeth. Dentures can fit comfortably in the mouth, but they will loosen over time and this can lead to discomfort and difficulties with eating and speaking.

  • Aesthetics and appearance
    Despite advancements in modern denture technology, some individuals still argue that dentures may not provide the same natural appearance and feel as teeth implants. Dental implants can mimic and blend in seamlessly with natural teeth and maintain facial structure.

  • Oral health impact
    Dental implants provide a significant benefit as they are embedded in the jawbone, which promotes bone growth and helps maintain oral health. While dentures can replace lost teeth, they can’t provide the same benefit of preserving the jawbone, which may increase the risk of bone loss over time.

  • Maintenance and care
    Caring for dental implants is relatively easy and similar to regular dental hygiene. They require daily brushing, flossing, and routine dental checkups. In contrast, dentures need special maintenance, including the use of denture cleansers and adhesives. While denture maintenance can seem time-consuming, it is an important part of extending longevity.

The Cost Factor: Dental Implants vs Dentures

When choosing between dental implants and dentures, the cost is crucial. Both options have different financial aspects to take into account, which the dentist and patient should evaluate carefully, considering not only the upfront costs but also the ongoing expenses that may arise over time.

Initial cost

The cost of implants is generally higher than that of dentures because of the nature of the treatment. They require dental surgery and more follow-up appointments, which increases the cost. On the other hand, dentures cost lower and are more accessible than teeth implants.

In terms of initial cost, dentures provide a better option and this is also one of the reasons why some patients choose them to replace their lost teeth.

Long-term costs and maintenance

Maintenance is an important aspect of long-term costs. Dental implants have a lower maintenance cost as they are durable and can last for many years. They don’t require relining or adjustments, but the artificial teeth or prosthesis may have to be replaced every 15-20 years due to wear and tear.

As for dentures, maintenance may involve relining and adjustments in order to ensure an exact fit. However, in some circumstances, replacement of the denture every 7-10 years may be necessary. Over time, the cost of denture maintenance or replacement can add up, making dental implants a more cost-efficient option in the long run.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Dental Implants or Dentures

We know it can be challenging to make a decision when it comes to choosing between dental implants and dentures. Hence, we’ve outlined some of the important factors that are necessary to consider when choosing teeth replacements:

  • Oral health and bone density
    The amount of healthy bone structure in the area that requires teeth replacement is crucial when considering dental implants. Individuals who have lost their teeth and have lost a significant amount of bone may require a bone grafting procedure to enhance bone quality and allow them to receive dental implants. In cases wherein a patient is not a good candidate for dental implants, dentures may be a better choice to replace teeth.

  • Lifestyle and personal preference
    The decision of choosing a dental restoration also lies with the patient’s lifestyle and personal preferences. If one seeks artificial teeth that don’t require special maintenance and allow a wider range of food choices, one might consider dental implants. Individuals who prefer removable dental prosthetics are more likely to choose dentures.

  • Budget and long-term costs
    As we’ve discussed, dental implants often come at a higher initial cost, but they can be a worthwhile investment considering the benefits they can offer in the long run. Meanwhile, dentures have a low upfront cost and can be a preferred option for patients on a tight budget or those who are not yet ready to commit to a more invasive procedure. However, it is important to remember that they can be more expensive to maintain in the long term.

Consulting with a dental professional can provide more valuable insight and guidance in evaluating these factors.

Suitability for Dental Implants or Dentures

After careful consideration of the factors mentioned above when choosing between dental implants and dentures, the dentist also checks the patient’s bone and gum health, medical history, and lifestyle to determine if the desired option is suitable.

Here are some key considerations concerning the suitability of patients for dental implants or dentures:

  • Bone and gum health

    Healthy bones facilitate a stronger integration of dental implants, reducing the chances of future complications. Adequate bone density is crucial for stabilizing dental implants and minimizing the risk of potential failures. Additionally, ensuring the patient has healthy gums promotes optimal healing in the surgical region. Conversely, with the help of adhesives, dentures may be a suitable treatment option for individuals with extensive bone loss.

  • Age considerations

    It’s a common thought that older individuals are less likely to be good candidates for dental implants and that dentures are always the more practical treatment option to replace lost teeth among older people. However, age does not make it harder for someone to get a tooth implant based on research. Yet age considerations can vary depending on the patient’s case.

  • Medical history and lifestyle factors

    The dentist evaluates if the patient has pre-existing dental problems or chronic health conditions that may slow down the healing and interfere with the process of integrating dental implants with the bone. A medical history of uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or bleeding issues may cause adverse effects on dental implants.

Furthermore, the dentist also considers the lifestyle choices of the patients. Examples include smoking, physical activity, oral hygiene routine, and other habits that may contradict dental implants or dentures. Some patients may prefer the convenience of dentures, which can be taken out for cleaning and maintenance.

The Procedure: What to Expect

Now let’s discuss the process of getting dental implants and dentures so patients can have expectations and understand the entire procedure.

Dental implant procedure:

  • Initial consultation and examination

    Every dental treatment begins with an initial consultation with the dentist who will evaluate the patient’s general dental health and take dental x-rays and digital scans to evaluate the jaw bone. Through these tools, they can understand better what type of dental restoration suits the patient and detect underlying conditions that need treatment.

  • Treatment planning and implant placement

    The dentist will develop a treatment plan and explain it to the patient. They may discuss smile goals, preferences, and expectations, and explain the step-by-step procedure of dental implants. Once the patient agrees and understands the treatment plan, the dentist will schedule the dental implant placement.

    The dental implant surgery begins with making an incision in the gums to gain access to the jawbone. A hole is drilled and the implant titanium post is embedded in the jawbone. The gums are then closed with sutures.

  • Healing and osseointegration period

    The patient will undergo a recovery period to allow osseointegration, the process wherein the implant post which acts as an artificial tooth root fuses with the jawbone. This recovery period may last a couple of months. 

  • Abutment placement and impression taking

    The dentist attaches a connector called an abutment to the dental implant and takes an impression to make a dental crown or prosthetic tooth. This procedure will require another minor surgery.

  • Crown or prosthetic attachment

    When the dental crown or false teeth are ready, the dentist will attach it to the abutment for a complete restoration.

Denture fitting process:

  • Initial consultation and oral examination

    Similarly, the dentist will assess the patient’s oral health to get familiar with the case. They may also use diagnostic tools to evaluate oral structures and detect problems like tooth decay. This will then be followed by a discussion of the different types of denture options.

  • Impression taking and bite registration

    The dentist will take an impression of the patient’s jawbones to fabricate the denture and determine the optimal bite.

  • Wax try-in and adjustment

    Next, the patient will try on a wax model of the denture to check the fit and make any necessary adjustments. This will be returned to the dental laboratory for final processing.

  • Final denture delivery and follow-up appointments

    On the next visit, the patient will receive the final, custom-made denture. The dentist will check the fit again and adjust them if needed. The dentist will also provide instructions about proper cleaning and maintenance.

    The information provided here about the step-by-step procedure of getting these dental restorations is only a standard guide to help patients understand the process. It’s important to note that it may differ slightly from the actual treatment process. Hence, we encourage people to consult their dentist to know the details.

Final Thoughts

When deciding between dental implants and dentures, it is crucial to consider your oral health needs, budget, and personal preferences. While dental implants offer long-lasting and natural-looking tooth restoration, they require a surgical procedure and a higher upfront cost. On the other hand, dentures are considered the more affordable option and they do not require surgery. But dentures require regular maintenance and must be replaced every few years. Ultimately, the suitable choice depends on your unique case and preference.

If you’re looking for a dental clinic near Forrestfield that can help you choose the dental procedure that will suit your needs, look no further than Dentalcare of Forrestfield. Our friendly dental team can provide professional advice and quality care to help you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile. Please book an appointment through our website or call us to schedule your visit today.