dentures vs dental implants

As a dental practice that offers both dental implants and dentures, we’re often asked about the best ways to replace missing teeth. The tooth replacement options you explore with our West Michigan restorative dentists will ultimately depend on your oral health, budget, and personal preference.

Here are the differences between getting dentures and getting dental implants. If you’d still like more information, our dentists would be happy to answer any questions you may have about either procedure.


Dentures are an oral appliance made to look and function like natural teeth. We can help you explore the different types of dentures available, including partial, complete, conventional, and immediate dentures.

Depending on the extent of tooth loss, our dentists may recommend a full or partial denture. While a full denture replaces an entire arch of teeth, a partial denture only replaces a few teeth.

Dentures sit on top of your gums and must be removed before you go to sleep so your gums have a chance to recover. When you’re not wearing your dentures, they’ll need to be submerged in a glass of water or denture cleanser, so they don’t dry out, crack, and warp.

The benefits of dentures include:

  • Custom-made: Dentures are not one-size-fits-all oral appliances. Our dentists tailor both partial and full dentures to fit your mouth comfortably.
  • Restored self-confidence: There’s no need to hide your smile around family, friends, or co-workers after you’ve filled in the gaps in your smile.
  • Removable: If you don’t like the idea of having a permanent solution, you can remove your dentures but make sure they’re cared for when not in use.
  • Facial feature support: Wearing dentures helps to fill out your cheeks that may have begun to sag after teeth were lost.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root made of titanium that’s surgically placed by our dentists in your jaw to later support a dental crown.

Many patients appreciate that dental implants look and function like natural teeth. This means that you’ll be able to continue eating your favorite foods without worrying about slipping dentures.

Take care of your dental implants like you would natural teeth by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once daily.

The benefits of dental implants include:

  • Enhanced ability to speak and eat
  • Improved self-esteem and overall comfort
  • Natural stimulation of jawbone which prevents further bone and tooth loss
  • Look and function like natural teeth which makes maintenance easier
  • Permanently remain in place (no risk of slipping or shifting)
  • Adjacent teeth do not need to be altered for support

Should I Get Dentures or Dental Implants?

While dentures are more affordable than dental implants, they don’t solve the problem of jawbone deterioration.

As soon as your body detects a missing tooth, it’ll start to absorb the minerals in your jaw to use elsewhere. Once this happens, the area of the jaw where the tooth root used to be weakens and deteriorates. Teeth adjacent to the gap will also start to tilt toward the open space. Eventually, the patient may experience facial collapse, which alters the shape of the face and makes it difficult to wear dentures.

The best way to prevent further tooth loss and jawbone deterioration is to ask our dentists if you’re a candidate for the dental implant procedure. In general, we recommend dental implants whenever possible so patients can avoid long-term health issues caused by missing teeth.

Am I a Candidate for the Dental Implant Procedure?

You’re a candidate for the dental implant procedure if you have healthy gum tissue and sufficient bone density in your jaw to place the implant. For successful osseointegration, there must be enough jawbone tissue to support the titanium dental implant that’s placed in your jawbone.

Our dentists will be able to determine if you’re a likely candidate for the dental implant procedure. Even if you’re not a candidate for dental implants, we can help you explore your other tooth replacement options.

Don’t Wait, Restore Your Smile Today

Our dentists in Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Comstock Park, and Ionia, MI, are proud to offer multiple tooth replacement options that help patients smile with confidence. With several practices in West Michigan, we have the capability of handling all your family’s dental needs. To schedule an appointment, call one of our MI Smiles Dental locations.

This blog post has been updated.