HEALTH WATCH: Implants and dentures

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 10:48 AM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - For Nov. 17′s Health Watch segment, News Channel 6 sat down with expert Dr. Dustin Van Tassell at StarImage Dentistry about the benefits of dentures and implants to one’s future smile.

Over time, your teeth can start to deteriorate. When this happens, one might look toward getting cosmetic surgery. This includes dentures and/or implants. However, each has its differences.

“The big difference between implants and dentures are mainly how they are held in the mouth, so you take a look at the implants. Implants go into the bone and they are stabilized by the bone, whereas dentures sit on top of the gum tissue and when it sits on top of the gum tissue, it’s just floating in there. It’s held in by suction,” Van Tassell said.

Dr. Van Tassell says when teeth are replaced with a natural denture. the patient could lose up to 60% of their bone mass around where their teeth used to be in the first year.

“One of the primary reasons why an implant is so good is it helps maintain the bone around it,” Van Tassell said.

“If you’re just using dentures, dentures by themselves accelerate bone loss. So if you’re going to go straight to a denture option, you’re going to have more bone loss over a period of time had you not had anything in there at all,” Van Tassell said.

“Recommending a denture versus implant, my go-to is to always to recommend an implant. It’s the most natural thing you can do to replace a tooth,” Van Tassell said.

The durability of an implant compared to a denture factors into Dr. Van Tassell’s recommendation as well.

“When taking a look at the longevity of implants versus dentures, typically a denture needs to have a new base put underneath it every two to three years,” Van Tassell said. “It’s important to be able to keep that base underneath it so that it has a good adaptation to your gum tissue. When we’re taking a look at implants, implants are able to last a whole lot longer. A lot of times implants can last somebody’s entire lifetime.”

The main objective is to preserve bone, which is important for the stability of any type of implant or denture in the long run. If you’re not sure which route to take, talk with your local dentist for more information.