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Crowns, Bridges, Dentures, Implants

Implants or Dentures

01/08/2001

Question:

If pain is not a major factor in dental implants, what are the key factors that I, as a patient, should be considering to decide for implants and against dentures? For example, if I have enough bone for implants, do I also have the option for dentures? Finally, what aftercare procedures raise probability of success? Thanks.

Answer:

With dentures you have about 25% the chewing efficiency of natural teeth. With implants, depending on how many you get and the type of prosthesis used to restore the implants, the chewing efficiency can go up to approximately that of having natural teeth. The more implants you have (up to six per arch) the more force you can apply. If you are a healthy patient you have a high potential for implant success (greater than 95%). If you are medically compromised or have habits (smoking) healing is more difficult and there are greater risks of the implants not healing. The decision is based on your experience with dentures. Many people can wear upper dentures with good success but lower dentures usually present more problems. If you have not worn dentures before you may want to try them and see if you can manage. If you have great difficulties then you may want to move toward implants. If you are already wearing dentures and are have difficulties with one or the other, then implants will definitely improve function.

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Response by:

Robert R Seghi, DDS, MS Robert R Seghi, DDS, MS
Professor of Restorative/Prosthetic Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University