Dental Implants vs Dentures: What's the Difference?

In this blog from Murphy Dental Group, PLLC, we’re giving you the rundown on how dentures stack up to dental implants. We’re weighing the pros and cons of the length, cost, functionality, and complexity of both procedures.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants in Oak Park are ideal for patients looking for long-term tooth restoration. A titanium post is implanted into the jawbone and over 3-6 months, this implant becomes fused with the jawbone through osseointegration. 

The procedure is performed in three parts: first, the implant is placed into the jawbone. Then, after 3-6 months, the gums are reopened to attach an abutment to the implant. 6 weeks after the abutment placement, your dental crown will be ready for attachment and your new tooth is complete and fully functional.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Implants?

Cost - Although dental implants are more costly than dentures upfront, they are a good investment for patients who need very few tooth replacements. Because implants are so durable, they can last for 20 years to a lifetime. 

You will need to replace the dental crown but other than that, you have a lifelong fully functioning tooth, unlike dentures that need to be replaced every few years. You may save more money in the long run with dental implants.

Time - Dental implants are not ideal for patients who are looking for immediate tooth replacement. The entire procedure takes months to complete, as the implant needs time to permanently bond with the jawbone. 

Functionality - Though implants take longer to complete, the process makes the implant very secure, so your tooth will not shift around when you chew. Chewing also causes the implant to stimulate your jawbone like a natural tooth root, helping to prevent bone resorption, or bone loss.

Dental implants are the only method of tooth replacement that prevents further bone loss. Bone loss will cause changes to your facial structure and can lead to premature aging. You will be able to use your implanted artificial tooth just as you use your real teeth and can eat whatever you want.

The Complexity of the Procedure - One needs to be in good oral health and overall health to be a good candidate for dental implants. Furthermore, you will need to be evaluated for jaw size and bone strength. Inadequate jawbone may necessitate bone grafting, which will extend your time in recovery.

What are Dentures?

Dentures are removable prostheses consisting of artificial teeth attached to a pink acrylic or plastic base that attaches to your gums. They are held into place through suction, adhesive, or can be clipped in. Some dentures can be held into place through a series of 2-4 dental implants, known as all-on-four dental implants.

There are two main types of dentures: full or partial dentures. Partial dentures are used to replace a few missing teeth when the patient still has most of their teeth. Full dentures are only recommended for patients who are missing most of their teeth because any remaining natural teeth will need to be extracted before fitting their dentures to replace both arches of teeth.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Dentures?

Cost - Dentures are much cheaper than dental implants or at least they are upfront. However, they need to be continually replaced due to wear and tear and changes in your facial structure over time. Expect to replace your dentures about every 7-10 years.

Time - Dentures are a better option for patients who want to replace their teeth quickly. While full dentures necessitate the extraction of all of your natural teeth and need to be completely healed over 8-12 weeks before getting fitted for your official dentures, you will be given a temporary set to wear during this time.

Functionality - Dentures are specially fitted to your mouth and the artificial teeth are crafted from impressions that are taken of your natural teeth so no one will know the difference visually. However, dentures do not feel or function like normal teeth. 

You will need to take good care of them, as they are higher maintenance to clean than dental implants. They are also prone to feeling uncomfortable, shifting around when eating or talking, and you will have to make some changes to your diet.

The complexity of the Procedure - Dentures are much less complex and less invasive than dental implants. Partial dentures do not require any oral surgery and even full dentures can be fitted sooner after extraction than dental implants. 

You won’t have to worry about having an adequate bone structure or healthy teeth. However, you do need to have tooth decay or gum disease treated before receiving your dentures.

Tooth Replacement Options at Murphy Dental Group, PLLC

At Murphy Dental Group, PLLC, we offer both custom-fitted dentures and dental implants. Contact us online at or call (708) 524-0330 today to discuss your options or schedule a consultation with our team.