dental professional demonstrates a model of a tooth implant

Dental Implant vs Partial Denture

If one or more of your teeth is missing, your first concern may be your confidence and smile. While these things are certainly important, there are health reasons for replacing those teeth as well. Without some kind of spacer or replacement, the surrounding teeth can start to shift and cause more oral health problems. 

The choice to replace missing teeth is easy, but deciding how to replace them is more difficult. For people who are missing a few teeth on the same arch, there are two main options: dental implants or partial dentures. 

When deciding between these restorative dentistry options, it’s important to know all the facts. Be sure to understand what each procedure entails, as well as the pros and cons for each option. Then you can make the best choice for your unique smile. 

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth. There are many types of dental implants. Depending on the person’s needs, dental implants can:

  • Replace one tooth, multiple teeth, or a full arch
  • Be removable or permanent
  • Be full-sized or “mini”

Regardless of which of these choices a person makes, all dental implants work by implanting a metal screw into the jawbone, then connecting that screw to a crown, which is typically tooth-colored. 

If you’re missing multiple teeth on the same arch, you will likely look at implant-supported bridges. These prosthetics replace three or more adjacent teeth with two or more implants. If your missing teeth are not adjacent, you may need several individual implants.

What Are Partial Dentures?

When people refer to “partial dentures,” they usually mean the traditional style of dentures that do not rely on implants. These traditional dentures can also replace either a full arch or a few teeth on the same arch. 

Partial dentures are removable. They have an acrylic base and natural-looking tooth replacements. The dentist will attach metal supports around the natural teeth to keep the space between your natural teeth. The partial dentures also get support from these metal pieces.

Potential Downsides for Each Option

Before deciding between dental implants and partial dentures, it’s important to understand the potential downsides of each. 

Dental implants:

  • Can cost more
  • May take more appointments
  • Can cause more pain in the short-term

Partial dentures:

  • May shift during chewing
  • Don’t feel as natural

Benefits of Dental Implants and Partial Dentures

It’s just as vital to know the benefits of both the dental implants and partial dentures. 

Dental implants:

  • Feel and function more like natural teeth
  • Look most natural

Partial dentures:

  • Typically cost less
  • May take fewer appointments
  • May cause less pain initially

Ultimately, only you and your dentist can decide which tooth replacement option is right for you. Both options allow you to have a healthy, brilliant smile.

Restorative Dentistry in North Attleborough & Swansea, MA

Whether you decide to get dental implants or partial dentures, 508 Dentist is here to help. Our experienced dentists can help you decide on what option works best for you. Our knowledgeable hygienists and friendly staff will help you along the way. When you’re ready to restore your smile, contact 508 Dentist to schedule your consultation.