If you’re missing teeth, you’re probably in the market for a replacement, or at least, you should be. When you lose a tooth, something known as bone loss occurs. This can cause a whole host of unsavory effects, from shifting teeth and bite problems to changes to your face and premature facial sagging.
That is if you don’t do anything about it. However, thanks to modern dentistry, we now have many viable tooth replacement options that can restore support to your mouth, restore your smile, and help you regain tooth functionality. Read on to find out more about your options.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are biocompatible titanium posts that are implanted into the jawbone. An abutment and then a dental crown is attached to complete the restoration. After we implant the screw-like titanium post into your jaw, you will need to wait 3-6 months for osseointegration (the fusion of your jawbone and implant) to be complete. Then, we will need to reopen your gums to attach the abutment. Once you heal from that second surgery, a dental crown is attached.
Pros & Cons
Implants are the only tooth replacement option that prevents bone loss. This is because the jawbone grows around the implant and fuses with it. This causes the jawbone to be stimulated when you chew, just like a natural tooth root.
Another advantage of this artificial tooth root is that it holds the restoration securely in place. You’ll never have to worry about your teeth moving around when you chew or speak ever again. They’re also low maintenance compared to dentures. You are free to eat whatever you want.
You clean implants just like you would your natural teeth. Their lifespan is 25 years to life, making them a long-term restoration solution! However, the healing process takes much longer compared to dentures and they are also much more expensive. Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants.
You must have sufficient jaw bone density and healthy gums to support the implants. However, many people can become good candidates once they undergo bone grafting procedures. This, of course, will add to the healing time and costs associated with the procedure.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are removable prostheses that replace missing teeth. Partial dentures replace 1 or a few missing teeth, while full dentures replace a whole arch or even both arches of teeth. Full dentures require the extraction of all of your remaining teeth.
Impressions need to be taken of your mouth and measurements of your jaw are also sent to a dental lab that fabricates custom-made dentures that will fit comfortably and naturally inside of your mouth.
Artificial teeth are attached to a pink plastic base that mimics the appearance of gums. Partial dentures clip onto the surrounding teeth with metal clasps but full dentures are held in place through natural suction.
Pros & Cons
Dentures are a convenient way to replace many or all of your missing teeth. They’ll help you restore support to your mouth, create an aesthetic smile, and help you gain functionality back when it comes to eating and talking.
They are much more affordable and take much less time to install than implants. They are also more accessible to patients who do not have enough jawbone to support implants or bridges.
However, they can shift around, require that you make restrictions to your diet, and accelerate bone loss. Dentures need to be replaced much sooner than implants, about every 7-10 years or sooner if the measurements of your mouth change sooner than that.
Which Tooth Replacement Is Right for Me?
While dentures and implants have different advantages and disadvantages, they ultimately serve the same purpose, which is to replace missing teeth. Those who are only missing a single tooth and have adequate jaw and gum support for implants would be wise to do.
This is a superior tooth replacement option for one missing tooth. Implant-supported bridges can also be used to replace a few missing teeth. However, if you have extensive tooth loss, are looking for a quick fix, and are not a good candidate for implants, we highly recommend dentures.
Schedule A Consultation Today!
If you’re suffering from tooth loss and are looking to explore your options, contact us at Be More Dental to schedule a consultation with Dr. Amanda Hurley today.