Dental Implants vs Partial Dentures
Dental implants are far superior to partial dentures in many ways. But they do cost more. Dr. Kirk Petersen, DMD, who runs Hemet West Dental Office in Hemet, California, talks here about which option is best for you – and the fact that paying more upfront could save you money in the long run.
Dental implants are the closest and most permanent replacement for teeth that we offer. We can place implants from one tooth up to a full arch of teeth, actually up to a full mouthful of teeth. And once they are placed, they function virtually exactly like a tooth, with the added benefit that they can never get a cavity.
Compared to a dental implant, a partial denture just hooks on to the other teeth, and is generally made to be only somewhat mobile. And it can cause sore spots in the mouth as well. We often see patients who sometimes get cavities under the hooks of their partial dentures, the clasps that hold the partial denture onto the other teeth.
Also, the partial denture will need to be realigned every couple of years, and they need to be replaced about every five to eight years. So often, in the long term, dental implants can actually be less expensive than a partial denture, because basically in about 97% of cases, the implants can be permanent.
The only thing that needs to be done to implants is to clean them at home and have a dental office look at them once every six months, just like regular teeth.
Why Not Implants?
You might wonder why not everybody chooses implants, then. That is partially because of the upfront expense, they are more expensive than partial dentures. A partial denture would probably cost you about $2,500, whereas doing an implant and a crown, just for one tooth, is about the same price.
But say you are missing three teeth on one side, you could place two of the implants and then do a three-tooth bridge, that would be about $7,500. But then that is pretty much good for life.
Some insurance providers pay for implants, it is getting more and more common. So that is always an option. And also if a tooth needs a root canal and a post, which is something that is often placed on a tooth after a root canal to build it up enough to hold a crown, and a crown, that could easily be $2,700 or $2,800. And if that tooth is questionable at all, it often is preferred to take that tooth out and put an implant in, as it is much more predictable. And some insurance providers will cover that too.
*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.