Dental Implants vs. Dentures Unveiled: The Battle of Smiles

So, if you’re at the crossroads of this significant oral health decision, we invite you to read on. Equip yourself with the knowledge you need to make an informed choice that aligns with your lifestyle, budget, and well-being.
Duncraig Dental Care
Dr. Haytham Barr

Dr. Haytham Barr

11 October 2023

The quest for a confident smile is a journey many embark upon. Whether due to tooth loss, other oral health issues, or simply the desire for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance, deciding between dental implants and dentures is a major choice.

This comprehensive guide explores the often-debated topic of dental implants vs. dentures. We’ll explore the unique benefits and drawbacks of each option, and we will also weigh the financial aspects, as the cost of managing your oral health can be a significant aspect of your decision-making process.

So, if you’re at the crossroads of this significant oral health decision, we invite you to read on. Equip yourself with the knowledge you need to make an informed choice that aligns with your lifestyle, budget, and well-being.

Summary of the Content

  • Missing teeth affect aesthetics and overall well-being, as they can impact nutrition, speech, bone density, and emotional health.

  • Dental implants offer patients a stable, long-term tooth replacement option, providing benefits such as a natural appearance, enhanced functionality, and minimal impact on neighbouring teeth. However, they come with higher initial costs and surgical risks.

  • Some of the benefits of dentures are that they provide a quicker, less invasive, and budget-friendly alternative. However, they require regular maintenance and may not offer the same level of comfort and functionality.

  • Financial considerations are vital. Dental implants require a higher initial investment but have lower ongoing costs, while dentures are initially less expensive but come with recurring maintenance expenses.

  • Dental implant procedures involve multiple visits and minor surgery, while dentures usually require fewer visits and are non-surgical.

  • The choice between dental implants and dentures impacts daily activities like eating, speaking, and socialising differently. Dental implants offer a more natural feel, and dentures can sometimes shift or slip, leading to potential discomfort and embarrassment.

  • Health considerations also vary, with dental implants benefiting jawbone density and oral hygiene. On the other hand, dentures may cause gum tissue irritation and contribute to continuous bone loss.

The Problem with Missing Teeth

Duncraig Dental Care

The absence of teeth is not just an aesthetic issue; it has far-reaching implications for your overall well-being. Missing teeth can significantly affect the quality of your everyday life, affecting everything from your self-esteem to your ability to eat and speak properly.

Key Issues

  • Nutritional Deficiencies:
    The inability to chew food properly can cause poor nutrition, as you may avoid eating certain foods that require more chewing force.

  • Speech Difficulties:
    Missing teeth can make it challenging to pronounce certain words and cause speech impediments.

  • Bone Loss:
    The jawbone requires stimulation from chewing to maintain its density. The absence of teeth can cause bone loss in the jaw.

  • Facial Structure:
    Bone loss in the jaw can cause the facial structure to collapse inward. It can alter your facial appearance, making you appear older than you are.

  • Dental Health:
    Gaps in your teeth can become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, increasing the risk of gum disease and further tooth loss.

In addition, the emotional toll of missing teeth can also be significant. It can cause reduced self-confidence and social withdrawal, as you may feel self-conscious about your appearance.

The problem of missing or lost teeth is multi-faceted, affecting your life’s physical and emotional aspects. This highlights the importance of promptly addressing missing teeth to prevent further complications. Consult a dentist to explore a suitable tooth replacement option to improve your quality of life.

Dental Implants Demystified: A Comprehensive Overview

Dental implants have gained considerable attention for their durability and natural appearance when replacing missing teeth. Understanding dental implant benefits and drawbacks is crucial in your journey to a full smile. However, like any medical procedure, they come with considerations.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are biocompatible titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gum line. These posts serve as anchors for replacement teeth or dental bridges. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are a more stable and long-term option. Here are some dental implant benefits and drawbacks:

Dental Implant Benefits

  • Natural Appearance:
    Dental implants are designed to fuse with the jawbone, making them indistinguishable from real teeth.

  • Improved Functionality:
    They offer better chewing and speaking capabilities than replacement options.

  • Durability:
    Dental implants can last for decades, making them a long-term option. According to a study, Long-term (10-year) dental implant survival: A systematic review and sensitivity meta-analysis, the long-term survival rate of dental implants is around 96.4%, but this success rate can vary depending on age and other individual factors.

  • Oral Health:
    They don’t require altering other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does, thus preserving natural tooth structure.

Drawbacks of Dental Implants

  • Cost:
    The initial investment for dental implants is generally higher than other treatment options like conventional dentures.

  • Surgical Risks:
    As with any oral surgery, there are risks of infection, nerve damage, and other complications.

  • Time-Consuming:
    The entire process can take a couple of months and requires multiple visits to your dentist.

Dental implants provide a strong and aesthetically appealing option for replacing missing teeth, although they come with challenges and considerations. Weigh these essential factors carefully. Consult a dentist for high-quality dental care and determine if dental implants fit you.

Dentures Decoded: The Time-Tested Option

Dentures are removable dental appliances that replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues. They come in various forms, including full and partial dentures, depending on the number of teeth that need replacing.

Biggest Advantages of Dentures for Patients

  • Accessibility:
    Dentures are widely available. This dental service is provided by most dental clinics.

  • Affordability:
    They are generally less expensive upfront compared to other tooth replacement options.

  • Non-Invasive:
    No surgical procedures are required for fitting dentures.

  • Quick:
    Dentures can be made relatively quickly, offering a faster treatment route to restoring one’s smile.

Cons of Dentures

  • Less Natural Feel:
    Dentures may not offer the same comfort and functionality as natural teeth.

  • Maintenance:
    They require regular cleaning, occasional adjustments, and more frequent replacements.

  • Potential for Movement:
    Dentures can slip or move, requiring an adhesive to keep them in place.

  • Oral Health:
    Long-term use can cause gum irritation and contribute to continuous bone loss.

Dentures have been reliable for many years, balancing cost and functionality. However, they have drawbacks and require regular care and maintenance. Dentures are a viable form of tooth replacement but require adjustment and regular denture maintenance for optimal functionality.

The Financial Equation: Weighing the Costs

Both common tooth replacement options come with their own costs, which can vary depending on additional factors such as individual needs, clinic location, and dentist’s experience.

Dental Implants: An Investment in Longevity

  • Initial Costs:
    Dental implant treatment generally costs more upfront than traditional dentures. The cost includes the surgical procedure, implant post, crown, and sometimes additional procedures like bone grafting.

  • Maintenance Costs:
    Dental implants require minimal maintenance, usually involving regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene once installed.

  • Long-term Value:
    Though expensive initially, dental implants can offer value for money in the long run due to their durability and minimal maintenance requirements.

Dentures: Budget-Friendly but Recurring Costs

  • Initial Costs:
    Dentures are less expensive upfront, making them a more accessible option for patients.

  • Denture Maintenance Costs:
    They require regular cleaning and occasional adjustments and may need to be replaced every 5-7 years.

  • Additional Costs:
    Using denture adhesive and denture cleansers, along with the need for replacement dentures every few years, can add to the cost.

Comparative Insights

  • Economic Trade-offs:
    The study from PubMed Central highlights that people often opt for dentures due to economic considerations despite the long-term dental implant benefits

  • Out-of-Pocket Expenditure:
    The study also mentions that a significant portion of dental care spending is out-of-pocket, making affordability a key factor in decision-making.

  • Long-Term Financial Planning:
    Given the durability of dental implants and the recurring costs associated with dentures, long-term financial planning is essential for making an informed choice.

Both dental implants and dentures have their own set of financial implications. While dental implants may seem costly initially, their long-term benefits could make them a wise financial decision for some. On the other hand, dentures offer a more budget-friendly option but come with recurring denture maintenance costs. Therefore, understanding your financial situation and long-term oral health goals is crucial to making careful choices.

From Consultation to Smile: Procedures Compared

Choosing between dental implants vs. dentures involves more than weighing the benefits and costs; it’s also about understanding each dental procedure. Both options have distinct steps, from the initial dental consultation to the final result.

Dental Implants: A Multi-Step Process

  1. Initial Consultation:
    The dental implant process starts with a comprehensive dental examination, including X-rays or other dental imaging, to assess jaw bone quality.

  2. Treatment Plan:
    A customised plan outlines the timeline, procedures, and costs.

  3. Dental Implant Placement:
    The implant is placed through surgical insertion of the titanium implant post into the jaw bone. This serves as an artificial tooth root.

  4. Osseointegration:
    The waiting period for the implant to fuse with the jawbone through osseointegration is usually 3-6 months.

  5. Abutment and Crown:
    After successful osseointegration, an abutment and crown are attached to the implant.

Key Considerations:

  • Multiple Visits: Requires several appointments over a span of months

  • Surgical Procedure: Involves minimal surgery, usually performed under local anaesthesia

Dentures: A Less Invasive Approach

  1. Initial Consultation:
    Includes a dental examination and a discussion of needs and preferences.

  2. Impressions and Measurements:
    Dental impressions are taken to create a custom-fit denture.

  3. Trial Fittings:
    Dentures are fitted for comfort and aesthetics before final processing. Trial fittings are an essential step in the denture process, allowing for adjustments in fit and appearance before the final denture is made so that the denture will be comfortable and visually pleasing for the patient.

  4. Final Fitting: Once the denture is fabricated and adjusted, the patient will come for the final fitting.

Key Considerations:

  • Quicker Turnaround: Usually requires fewer visits and a shorter overall treatment time

  • Non-Surgical: No surgical procedures are involved, making it a less invasive procedure.

The procedures for dental implants and dentures differ significantly in invasiveness, duration, and complexity. Dental implants involve a longer, more involved process but offer long-lasting results. Dentures, on the other hand, provide a quicker, non-surgical treatment to restore your smile.

Life Uninterrupted: Daily Activities with Your Choice

It’s not just about appearances or cost when deciding between dental implants vs. dentures; it’s also about how these treatment options affect your daily life. Activities like eating, speaking, and socialising can be significantly affected by your choice of tooth replacement.

Dental Implants: Closest to Natural Function

  • Eating:
    Dental implants allow for a more comfortable eating experience. You can enjoy various food choices without worrying about slippage or discomfort.

  • Speaking:
    Implants provide better clarity in speech as they are fixed and do not move, eliminating the lisping or whistling sounds that can occur with dentures.

  • Comfort:
    Since anchored into the jawbone, dental implants offer a comfortable and secure fit.

  • Social Confidence:
    With a natural look and feel, dental implants can boost your confidence in social settings.

Dentures: Adapt and Adjust

  • Eating:
    Dentures can make eating certain foods challenging, requiring adjustments in how you bite and chew.

  • Speaking:
    They may require some getting used to, especially when pronouncing certain words.

  • Comfort:
    Dentures can sometimes irritate and require adhesive to stay in place.

  • Social Confidence:
    While modern dentures are designed to look natural, some people may feel self-conscious about wearing them.

Both dental implants and dentures come with their own sets of advantages and challenges when it comes to daily activities. While dental implants offer a more natural and comfortable experience, dentures may require a longer adjustment period. Understanding how each option affects your daily life can help you make your decision.

Healthwise: What You Need to Know

Health considerations play a crucial role when choosing between dental implants and dentures. Both options have specific health-related benefits and potential drawbacks that can impact your decision.

Dental Implants: A Healthy Jawbone’s Friend


  • Jawbone Preservation:
    Dental implants help maintain jawbone density as they are anchored into the bone.

  • Dental Hygiene:
    Easier to clean and maintain, reducing the risk of oral health issues like gum disease.

  • No Impact on Adjacent Teeth:
    Unlike other options, dental implants don’t require trimming of adjacent teeth to be used as anchors.

  • Reduced Risk of Infection Signs:
    With proper care, dental implants have a lower risk of causing infections.


  • Surgical Risks:
    Dental implant treatment involves minor surgery, which carries risks such as infection or nerve damage.

  • Not Suitable for All:
    Individuals with certain health conditions or insufficient jawbone density may not be ideal candidates.

Dentures: Considerations for Gum Health


  • Non-Invasive:
    No surgical procedures are required, making it a less invasive option.

  • Quick Treatment:
    Dentures can be created and fitted more quickly than dental implants.

  • Accessibility:
    Widely available and can be provided by most dental clinics, making it accessible to more people.


  • Gum Irritation:
    Dentures can sometimes cause irritation and sores in the mouth.

  • Oral Hygiene:
    Requires meticulous cleaning to prevent plaque build-up, which can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral diseases.

  • Potential for Infection:
    Improperly fitted or poorly maintained dentures can cause fungal infections.

  • Impact on Existing Teeth:
    Poorly maintained partial dentures can affect the health and appearance of other remaining teeth over time.

Both dental implants and dentures have distinct health considerations that should be factored into your decision-making process. Dental implants offer numerous benefits, like jawbone preservation and easier maintenance, but they require good oral and overall health to be successful. While dentures are readily available, they demand meticulous dental hygiene standards and could affect gum health and any remaining natural teeth if not properly taken care of.

The Ideal Candidate for Dental Implants: Is It You?

Determining whether dental implants are the right fit for you involves various factors, from oral health status to lifestyle factors.

Who Should Consider Dental Implants?

  • Good Oral and Overall Health:
    Dental implants require a healthy jawbone and gums for successful osseointegration. In terms of overall health, a strong immune system and the absence of chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease are also important for optimal healing and long-term success.

  • Non-Smokers:
    Smoking can interfere with the healing process post-implant surgery and increase the risk of complications.

  • Active Lifestyle:
    Those with an active lifestyle may find implants more convenient as they don’t move or slip.

  • Preference for Natural Feel:
    Implants are a strong contender if you want an aesthetic tooth replacement option that feels and functions like natural teeth.

Scenarios Where Dental Implants Shine

  • Single Tooth Replacement:
    Ideal for replacing a missing tooth without affecting adjacent teeth.

  • Multiple Tooth Replacement:
    This can replace missing teeth in different mouth areas.

  • Entire Arch Replacement:
    Suitable for those who have lost most or all of their teeth but have a healthy jawbone.

  • Bone Loss Prevention:
    Dental implants help preserve jawbone density and benefit long-term oral health.

Dental implants are an alternative to dentures and could be the right choice for those who are looking for a long-term option that offers functionality and aesthetics. However, tooth implants require good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.

When Dentures Shine: Could They Be Your Right Fit?

While dental implants offer numerous advantages, they aren’t the right fit for everyone. Dentures have been a time-tested, more affordable option for tooth replacement and have benefits. Consider the benefits of dentures when making a decision.

Who Should Consider Dentures?

  • Poor Bone Density:
    Dentures can be a viable alternative if you have insufficient jawbone density to support implants and bone graft or sinus lift procedures are not possible.

  • Budget Constraints:
    Dentures are generally a more cost-effective choice, making them accessible to more people.

  • Quick Option:
    Dentures can be created and fitted more quickly than dental implants, offering a faster treatment option for tooth loss.

  • Elderly Patients:
    Older individuals who may not be ideal candidates for surgery might find dentures more accommodating.

Scenarios Where Dentures Excel

  • Full Mouth Replacement:
    This can replace an entire arch of teeth for individuals who have lost all their healthy teeth.

  • Temporary:
    This can serve as a temporary false teeth while preparing for dental implants.

  • Flexibility:
    Dentures can be easily removed and adjusted, offering more flexibility.

  • No Surgical Procedure:
    Dentures don’t require a surgical procedure, making them suitable for candidates who are not indicated for surgery.

The benefits of dentures make them suitable for various individuals, particularly those who may not be candidates for dental implants due to health, budget, or personal preferences. Although they require diligent maintenance, they offer a quicker and more flexible natural tooth replacement alternative.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between dental implants and dentures is a significant decision that impacts your natural-looking smile and overall well-being. Both options have unique benefits and considerations, making it crucial to consult a dentist to determine the suitable option for your needs. From the preservation of jawbone density made possible by dental implants to the cost-effectiveness and flexibility of dentures, each offers distinct advantages that cater to different lifestyles and health conditions.

At Duncraig Dental Care, we’re committed to helping you make an informed decision. Our experienced team is here to guide you through every step of the process, from initial consultation to post-procedure care. We invite you to continue your journey to a nice smile with us.

To discuss your options further and determine if the tooth replacement option is right for you, we encourage you to book an appointment through our website or call our clinic to schedule a consultation. Your journey towards a more confident smile begins with us.

dr barr author min


Dr. Haytham Barr

Dr. Haytham Barr takes great pride in establishing long-term relationships with his patients at Duncraig Dental Care.



Discover exceptional dental care at Duncraig Dental Care. From check-ups to advanced treatments like dental implants, our experienced team is ready to help. Book an appointment today and experience the Duncraig Dental Care difference.