What’s the Difference Between Dentures and Dental Implants?

If you are missing one or more teeth, you are probably exploring different tooth replacement options. Many people turn to dentures or dental implants to replace their missing teeth. You might be wondering if there is a difference between dentures and dental implants. Our dentist in Charleston wants you to know that there are several significant differences between dentures and dental implants, and these differences are important when deciding whether dentures or dental implants are right for you. 

Dentures and implants are similar in many ways. They both replace missing teeth, for example. Dental implants and dentures also:

  • Help you chew foods you are otherwise unable to eat, such as raw fruits and vegetables
  • Support your facial muscles to help retain the natural shape of your face
  • Boost your self-esteem and reduce self-consciousness by giving you an appealing smile
  • Improve speech

While there are similarities between dentures and dental implants, a number of factors make the two teeth replacement options quite different. These factors include their structure, the procedure to put them in place, price, ease of care, effects on your jawbone, and your personal preferences.

Dentist in Mount Pleasant Discusses the Differences between Dentures and Dental Implants

Structural differences between dentures and dental implants

Dentures are removable prosthetic teeth that sit on top of your upper or lower jaw. Dentures may be partial, holding just a few teeth, or a complete set that replaces all the teeth on your upper or lower arch.

Dental implants are posts that hold a crown, which looks like your natural tooth. A dental implant can hold a single crown. Multiple posts can hold several teeth replacements. The “All-on-Four” implants hold a complete arch of teeth on just four implants – in other words, all the teeth are supported on four posts.

Procedure for dentures vs. implants

Dental implants

Our dentist implants a screw-like metal rod into your jaw. Made from titanium or other biocompatible metal, the implant fuses with your jawbone over time, in a process known as osseointegration. Once the osseointegration process is complete, our dentist caps the implant with a natural-looking crown. 


To create your dentures, your dentist takes an impression of your upper or lower gums, or of both. Your dentist will also assess your bite and the alignment of your upper and lower jaws to make sure that you have enough room in your mouth for dentures, and that the dentures will help you chew and speak well. 

Suction holds your dentures in place, but sometimes suction is not enough – your dentures can slip and slide or even fall out when you talk, laugh, sneeze, bite or chew.  

Dental implants, on the other hand, never slip, slide or fall out. Your dentist affixes the dental crowns to the dental implants, which serve as sturdy anchors for the crowns. 

Dental implants cost vs. dentures

Dental implants have a higher initial cost than do dentures, but it is a one-time cost. Dentures are less expensive, but you may end up paying more in the long run, as you will likely need to replace your dentures every 7 to 10 years. 

A full set of dentures typically costs at least $1000, according to GoodRx. Certain factors influence the price of dentures. These factors include materials and any additional dental work, such as tooth extractions or gum conditioning, which needs to be done prior to getting dentures.  Your insurance may cover part or all of the cost.

A single dental implant can cost about $5000, but it is a one-time cost, as dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth. Replacing each tooth with a dental implant can cost as much as $43,000, but All-on-Four implants can cost much less, as they only use four implants to replace the entire arch. 

Caring for dentures vs. dental implants

Caring for your dental implants is similar to taking care of your natural teeth – brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist regularly. 

Taking care of your dentures requires a bit more effort. Remove and brush your dentures after eating. Soak them in water or cleaning solutions each night. 

Dental implants support healthy jawbone tissue – dentures do not

Biting and chewing food applies pressure to your teeth. This pressure transfers down to the roots of your teeth and into your jawbone, where it stimulates the growth of new bone tissue. When you lose a tooth, you also lose the beneficial pressure that keeps your jawbone strong and healthy. Left unaddressed, the loss of bone mass in your jaw can cause you to lose more teeth. The loss of bone mass in your jaw can also change the shape of your face. 

Dentures sit on top of your gums, so they do not transfer pressure to your jawbone. This means dentures do not stimulate the production of bone tissue, and can therefore allow you to lose bone mass in your jawbone. 

Where can I find a dentist near me for information about dentures and dental implants?

For more information on the difference between dentures and dental implants, consult with CHS Dental. Our dentist in Mt. Pleasant can help you decide which is right for you.

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