If you have missing teeth, and want to restore your smile’s function and beautiful aesthetic, a common solution are dental implants. These are used to replace the missing roots of your natural teeth, and act as an anchor to hold an artificial tooth in place. A titanium metal rod is inserted into your jawbone (which is permanent), and an artificial tooth is attached on top. You have two options to choose from: permanent dental implants vs. removable dental implants. The distinction between these lies in their attachment mechanism and functionality; with the permanent option being fixed in place and requiring a dentist to remove, while removable dental implants can be snapped in and out/on and off their connectors. To help you through the process of choosing the correct option for your unique dental needs, we’ve outlined what these options are and their differences, as well as, their advantages and drawbacks.
What Are Permanent Dental Implants (Implant-Supported Dentures)?
Also known as fixed, implant-supported dentures or screw-in dentures, permanent dental implants are popular as they are designed to mimic the look, feel, and function of natural teeth. The metal posts are often made from titanium or zirconia metals, which are surgically screwed into your jawbone and left to fuse with it. Since they are attached directly to your jawbone, they provide exceptional stability and do not require nightly removal or special cleaning. The artificial teeth that sit on top of the implant post are made from porcelain or composite resin, which are custom designed to match the shape, size, and color of your other natural teeth.
Benefits of Permanent Dental Implants
- You can speak, eat, and smile with confidence and comfort.
- They help prevent bone loss, as they fill in the gap and preserve your facial structure.
- They do not move, slip, or cause irritation to the gums.
- Likewise, they work really well for individuals who have dense, strong jawbones.
- They match up or align with your natural teeth perfectly.
While permanent dental implants don’t require special cleaning, some patients like to use water flossers, floss threaders, or small interproximal brushes to facilitate easier cleaning in the small space where the restoration meets the gum line – this is optional.
Drawbacks of Permanent Dental Implants
- These are more expensive than removable dental implants.
- You have to be okay with a longer healing time.
- Not suitable for individuals with immense bone loss or bone density.
As with your natural teeth, permanent dental implants must be properly cared for to avoid complications like the development of infections.
What Are Removable Dental Implants (Snap-on Dentures)?
Also known as snap-on dentures, removable dental implants are considered the middle ground between traditional dentures and fixed permanent dental implants. These don’t require as much jawbone support as their fixed counterparts, and you have the ability to remove them from your mouth without the aid of a dentist. Often made from acrylic, the artificial teeth are attached to the metal via a special snap-on mechanism.
Benefits of Removable Dental Implants
- These require less surgery and healing time.
- You can remove them yourself, and they are easier to clean (no adhesives).
- They can be adjusted, and in some cases, replaced as needed.
- Are suitable for those who have lower bone density.
- Can be less expensive than permanent dental implants.
- Can be removed after meals to clear out food that gets stuck.
Drawbacks of Permanent Dental Implants
- May not look or feel as natural as permanent dental implants (bulkier).
- Do not provide the same stability or chewing support as permanent restorations.
- It is possible for them to create soreness in the mouth at the gum line.
- May require more frequent dental visitors for adjustments or repairs.
- Jaw bone may weaken over time due to less stimulation.
Making The Decision: Permanent vs. Removable Dental Implants
Choosing between permanent dental implants vs. removable dental implants is a decision that should be made based on individual needs and circumstances. Factors like your jaw bone quality/density, oral health condition, budget and insurance coverage, your lifestyle, personal preferences, and expectations need to be taken into account. The best way to determine which option is best for you is to get a consult with a qualified and experienced dentist who can evaluate your unique situation and recommend the most suitable option.
At Family, Implant, and Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer both fixed and removable dental implant options for our patients who want to restore their smile and confidence. We have two convenient office locations, one in Brandon, FL and the other in Lakeland, FL. Our dental surgeons use the latest technology and techniques to ensure a safe and successful outcome for every patient that books in with us. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and find out how we can help you smile again!