When it comes to dentures, there are many options available to consumers, as well as an abundance of information floating around about dentures – some of which can be confusing, misleading or even outright false. I write this article to help clarify things for those of you who might be considering dentures as a tooth replacement solution in the hope that it will help you make an informed decision that is right for your unique situation.
Dentures vs Implants
The first thing that is important for all people to realize – we dentists included – is that what is right for one patient is not necessarily best for another. One cannot simply say, “implants are better than dentures.” There are many factors to consider when deciding on a tooth replacement solution. For example, a patient’s age and physical health are important factors to be mindful of. Some older individuals or people whose health is compromised might have difficulty tolerating or recovering from the surgeries necessitated by implants. For these patients, dentures would be the best solution. For a younger and healthy person who is seeking a long-term answer to tooth loss, implants would probably be the way to go.
What’s more expensive?
So what is more expensive… dentures or implants? While there really isn’t one simple answer to this question, I can understand why some might initially view implants as being the more expensive of the two options. Allow me to explain…
The upfront costs associated with implants are indeed higher than those associated with dentures. For a very elderly patient therefore, dentures could be considered more economical. However, if someone is younger and has many years of life ahead of them, research has demonstrated that over the longer term, implants are actually more cost-effective than dentures.
Even though the upfront cost of implants is typically higher, implants are longer lasting than dentures and patients typically experience fewer complications over time with implants than they would with dentures which require more and more adjustments and replacements as the years of wear and tear take their toll on them. A good set of dentures should be serviceable for approximately six to ten years. An implant, however, lasts for a very long time – sometimes even a lifetime – and as implant technology continues to improve, so does their longevity, thereby making them the most economical and cost-saving option over the long term.
Dentist vs denturist
Some people don’t realize that I, as a dentist, provide a complete range of denture solutions to my patients. I have a dental laboratory par excellence with whom I work to provide my patients with superior fitting dentures that are both beautiful and functional. Furthermore, because of my background, education and training as a Doctor of Dentistry, I am able to take a broader approach to each of my patient’s denture needs, combining a full or partial denture with another type of treatment option, that a denturist would simply not be qualified to do.
While some believe that denturists are dentists, this is not the case. A denturist’s training and education are significantly more limited in scope than that of a dentist. While an Ontario denturist would have a diploma from a college after having a completed the minimum requirement of a high school education, a dentist would be a graduate of a recognized university dental faculty and be licensed by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.
“Regular” vs “Premium” dentures
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard about people who are torn between options given to them elsewhere of “regular” dentures versus the “premium” ones that are touted as being far more superior but of course, come with a much higher price tag. As a dentist, I don’t feel that it is ethical to offer anyone something that is substandard. To me, there is no such thing as less than premium – in dentures, or in any of the dentistry I provide, for that matter. When my patients opt for dentures, they will always get the best – for one reasonable fee.
Steven Deskin is a Brantford Dentist in general practice.