Dental Implant Versus Partial Denture

Woman sitting in a dental officeA missing tooth can be replaced by either a dental implant or partial denture. These tooth replacement options are common and have been popular for many years. Knowing their differences is important if you want to determine the one that would suit you the most. An oral surgeon may recommend either option based on your needs. Replacement teeth last for years, so choosing a treatment that is right for you is crucial.

Difference Between a Partial Denture and a Dental Implant

People are usually advised to replace missing teeth. Teeth work together to help a person speak, smile and chew. When teeth are missing, a person may find it difficult to do these things. Loss of teeth may also make a person look older. These problems can be prevented or made worse depending on the tooth replacement option chosen. An oral surgeon can present the pros and cons of dental implants and partial dentures so that patients will make an informed choice.

Impact on Nearby Teeth

Partial dentures depend on nearby teeth in the jaw for support and retention. This can damage the natural teeth of a patient. Since dental implants do not depend on the remaining teeth, this problem is not experienced. Implants are surgically placed in the jaw and serve as an anchor for replacement teeth. The teeth near the implant will not be involved in the placement procedure.


Implants are comfortable and stable. Dentures can become loose, slip out or even fall out of the mouth. Partial dentures may also affect function and speech because they cover much of the roof of the mouth. People with dental implants do not experience these problems because implants are fixed firmly to the gums and do not shift. This eliminates the risk of slippage.

Jaw Shrinkage and Collapse

If a person does not replace missing teeth, the bones of the jaw will continue to remodel and reduce in size. After some time the face of an individual may appear to be slightly sunken in when the dentures are removed. The loss of bone leads to increased instability and irritation, decreased retention and it may affect the ability of dentures to stay in place. Dental implants are directly bonded to the jaw. Implants basically become part of the mouth, which helps to stop or slow bone loss in the implant’s area. This also helps people not to look older because of the loss of teeth.


Both options replace missing teeth and can restore and improve your beautiful smile. The artificial teeth are shaped, colored, sized and made to fit properly into the right area. Partial dentures are a valuable treatment option and have helped patients for many years. But dental implants can provide fully restored function and strength to your smile. Implants prevent shrinkage and collapse and many oral surgeons recommend them as the ideal choice for tooth replacement. However, it is still advisable for you to consult with an oral surgeon about the option that will work for you.

Request an appointment or call Integrated Dental Care at (610) 600-9745 for an appointment in our Exton office.

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