Many people underestimate the impact of lost teeth. Teeth that have been knocked out and not replaced in time or an abscessed tooth that gets extracted, will not grow back.
While some people can tolerate those embarrassing gaps left from missing teeth that also make eating and speaking more difficult, most dental patients can not.
Whether you've lost your teeth from an accident, disease or excessive use you've probably been juggling the idea of dentures and implants. The only problem is that you do not know which one will be the most effective treatment option for your smile.
Only your dentist will be able to recommend the best tooth replacement treatment option for your needs.
Below is some information about dentures and implants you can use when discussing your treatment options with your dentist and help you get a better idea about which option would be best for you:
Dentures have been the long-standing tooth replacement treatment that is the best option for patients who are missing most or all their teeth. Dentures have come a long way since your grandsparents or even parents' time. While dentures today operate and function the same, most are made with enhanced technology such as 3-D imaging and printing. The result are dentures that fit more securely and comfortably and look more like the patient's natural teeth.
Most modern dentures still require adhesive glue or bond to secure the dangers in place and they need to be removed when eating and overnight for cleaning.
Even partial dentures require time for you to get used to and initial discomfort may occur, even with better-fitting dentures.
Dentures are the best option for patients who have many missing teeth, do not mind the inconvenience of removing them while eating or taking them out to soak and get clean every night.
While dentures work best for restoring the smiles of patients with many missing teeth, implants are ideal for patients with one or two missing teeth here and there. One prominent gap in a smile is just as embarrassing as having no teeth to show off. Additionally, even having one missing tooth can cause additional dental health issues, like crooked teeth, in the future.
Dental implants are metal screws, usually made of titanium, that is inserted into a patient's jaw and capped with a crown, or fake tooth. Dental implants close embarrassing gaps in one's smile as well as fill in the space to prevent additional dental issues from occurring.
Dental implants can also be a good option for patients missing a couple teeth in a row. Dental bridges are a series of crowns that are anchored to the jaw on either side by dental implants.
Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanently affixed to the jaw. They can withstanding biting, eating and drinking and they allow one to speak clearly. With dental implants, the patient's mouth will feel and function normally with little to no discomfort.
Dental implants have a fast recovery time, making them a good option for those who want their smile looking beautiful in a hurry.
The only reason a patient will not be eligible for dental implants is that he or she has weakened or damaged jaw bone tissue that reduces the strength of the jaw.
Patients with a couple missing teeth, who do not want to deal with the inconvenience, discomfort, and possible awkwardness of dentures would be best suited for implants.
A Third Way
For some patients, there is another option: All-on Four Dentures. This teeth replacement treatment combines treatments and implants to produce permanent dentures that look and function like your natural teeth. You can even care for these dentures like you would regular teeth.
This option is relatively new and is offered in a handy of high-end dental offices. These types of treatments are great for patients who have primarily lost most or all their teeth, yet have adequate jaw bone mass and strength to support implants.
If dentures and implants are both great ways to fill in the gaps in your smile due to lost teeth. Both have their advantages and purposes. Having a basic understanding of the two can help you in your discussion with your dentist.