Skip to main content

Dentures Versus Dental Implants: Weighing the Pros and Cons

May 30, 2024 06:45AM ● By Edward Harsini, DDS
All-on-4 dental implants.

All-on-4 dental implants.

As we grow older, we find ourselves in need of replacing one or more missing teeth. If this is something you have been dealing with, you can speak with your dentist about including dentures or dental implants.
Choosing between these two options depends on a few factors, such as preference, the health of your jawbone and remaining teeth, and price. Dentures and implants each have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to discuss the different options with your dentist. They both basically serve the same purpose in that they help you chew tough foods, support facial muscles, help improve speech, and can help increase self-esteem by giving you your smile back.
There are also some key differences, however. As a dentist specializing in implants, here are some of the pros and cons to consider before deciding which option is best for you.
Cost of dentures and implants
Implants will cost you more than getting a set of dentures. Though prices vary based on your location, the American Dental Association (ADA) reports that an implant can cost between $1,600 and $2,200 per tooth.
The cost of dentures is much lower. The ADA suggests the cost of a set of upper dentures or lower dentures to be on average around $1,600.
Procedure for dentures and implants
Implants require bone to place screwlike implants that are then capped with crowns. An implant is made by extracting a damaged root and drilling a hole into the jawbone. A metal root, called a post, is implanted into the bone. The top of the post is then fitted with a crown, but not until the bone has begun to heal around the post securing it in position.
It can take up to a few months before the implant is ready to be attached with the abutment, the piece of the implant that the crown is fitted on. The final step is fitting a crown, an artificial tooth, to match the teeth already in place.
The procedure for dentures is much less invasive. Most dentures can be fitted to your mouth regardless of bone density in your jaw. Dentures can be complete sets—upper and lower—or be made to replace only a few missing teeth.
The procedure for creating dentures begins by making an impression of the upper or lower jaw. Before creating the dentures, your dentist will also observe your bite and the alignment of your upper and lower jaws. This allows the dentist to ensure the length of the dentures will allow for proper chewing and help with speech.
A first set of dentures are then made, which the dentist will use to see if any adjustments are needed. Lastly, a final set of dentures are created.
Maintaining dentures and implants
Dentures should not be worn overnight, and they need to be soaked in water or a cleaning solution during that time. You should remove dentures after meals and brush them. You may also need to brush off any adhesive that sticks to your gums after removing the dentures.
Implants are treated just like natural teeth. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing and having dental checkups every four months. Implants are very sensitive to plaque, so great oral hygiene is recommended and required. It helps prolong the investment the patient has made.
For overall maintenance of dentures, you will need to be refitted from time to time because as you age your bite will change. Implants may require the replacement of crowns if they become chipped. 
Complications from dentures and implants
Implants are usually safe and efficient in solving your teeth issues. However, some complications may arise, such as infections, cracked crowns or failed implants. Implant failures only occur in 5 to 10 percent of patients.
Common complications with dentures include becoming loose, not staying in place, and sores or ulcers forming on the gums.
Even though implants are more expensive, they can last up to 20 years, and more with maintenance and care. Dentures will often require adjustments and replacements over the years because jawbone resorbs when not stimulated by teeth or implants.
Look carefully at your options to replace your teeth and consider what you want in the long run when it comes to your abilities to chew, speak and smile. When making a decision between dentures and implants, keep in mind there is a huge difference. Implants function like teeth, while dentures are just an appliance that helps you chew food—mostly soft food. And, unfortunately, dentures reduce the pleasure of tasting food. Implants are a bigger investment, but it is a matter of quality of life. Over the years, implants have become more affordable, and there are multiple companies that offer financing on unsecured debt. You deserve it; choose wisely. Consult your dentist, and if you are not satisfied get a second opinion.


Dr. Edward Harsini is the owner of Smile Dental Clinics and Phoenix Implant Clinic, in Phoenix. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Dental School in 1998. He is certified by UCLA Aesthetic Continuum, the 3M Imtec Mini Dental Implants and GRU/AAID Maxi-Course Implant Dentistry. For more information, call 602-385-8732 or visit