If you have lost or broken teeth, you’re in luck – dentures are no longer your only option. Instead, you can choose dental implants, which are more secure and aesthetically pleasing than dentures. However, they’re not for everyone.

Before you decide between dentures and implants, consider these three variables:

Performance

If you choose dentures, you might have trouble keeping them in place; they’re known to slip and can make it difficult to eat and talk. On the other hand, dental implants are strong because they’re surgically implanted and secured with titanium screws.

Once inserted, they look and feel like natural teeth. Implants also boast a failure rate of less than five percent, according to the New York Times. Dentures aren’t as long lasting, and if you miss routine checkups, they can contribute to poor oral health.

Smoking

If you’re a smoker and you don’t plan on quitting, dental implants probably are not for you. Studies have linked smoking with implant failure and peri-implantitis – a disease that causes inflammation of the mucous surrounding the implants.

Dentures, however, don’t prohibit smoking, though you might have to quit temporarily if you develop certain mouth conditions.

Cost

Dental implants are better than dentures in terms of performance and longevity, but they also come at a much higher cost. According to the New York Times, you could pay as much as $4,500 to replace a single tooth and $45,000 for a set of teeth. While most dental insurance plans do cover implants, they typically cap their reimbursements at $1,500.

Dental implants offer significant benefits over dentures, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for you. If you’re considering tooth replacement, talk to your dentist. He or she can give you a personal recommendation based on your oral health history.

Just make sure you make the appointment now – dental problems only get worse over time.