Dental implants, by a mile!
It might seem odd that the surgical option is safer than the non-surgical option, but it’s true.
While implants pose a risk of health problems to some people, dentures cause virtually guaranteed health problems for all patients.
Here is a handy comparison:
Dangers of Dental Implants
The most common problem of dental implants is infection, typically mild and treatable with antibiotics. This occurs because small spaces can open between the bone and the implant, giving bacteria a space to accumulate. The risks of this happening are low in general, but can be reduced to almost negligible with a ceramic implant. Similarly, titanium allergies can cause reactions to implants in about 1% of people, but can also be avoided with ceramics.
Other risks include minor nerve damage and sinus problems, both of which are extremely rare in procedures done by experienced surgeons.
Dangers of Dentures
Dentures cause health problems on two fronts: accelerated gum/bone recession and reduced nutrition.
Bone recession occurs whenever a tooth is removed. The bone is no longer needed to support the tooth, and so the body gets rid of it. This occurs much faster with dentures than with implants. With implants, the implant is bonded with the bone as if it were a tooth, encouraging the bone to remain. The pressure inside the bone, both up-and-down and lateral, promotes continued bone growth. With dentures, no such luck. Instead, the uniform pressure on the gum tissue encourages the gums to shrink even faster.
This recession is first noticed cosmetically. By shrinking the space between nose and chin, it creates a prematurely old face that is locked in a frown. Its dangers go well beyond that, however. With less bone comes less stability, making dentures harder to use over time. Worse still, the decreased bone mass makes it harder to use dental implants in the future, if you change your mind.
Dentures are also dangerous because they make eating fresh fruits and vegetables hard or, in some cases, impossible. Most people with dentures resort to avoiding fruits and raw vegetables altogether, to the detriment of their health. This is very dangerous for seniors, since raw leafy greens promote better memory and brain health, many fruits have potassium that promotes bone health, and other vegetables promote better digestion, heart health, and liver health. Not eating enough vegetables poses a serious risk to your life.
While both options have risks, the dangers of dentures are far more prevalent and far more destructive than the dangers of dental implants.