The answer to tooth loss doesn’t have to be dentures.
Did you know that there are approximately 120 million people in America who are missing a tooth or two, while over 35 million have no teeth at all? For many of them, dentures or partial dentures would have been the only option available, but thanks to the advances in restorative dentistry, they can now choose to have dental implants.
But that is other people. If you are considering implants or dentures, you want to know which would be the best choice for you. Before we discuss the benefits of implants versus dentures, let’s first clarify what they are.
What are dentures?
If we were to ask you what dentures are, there is a very good chance you will say “old people’s teeth.” This is because these false or prosthetic teeth were the only solution to replace missing teeth for many generations.
Today, dentures look far more realistic than they used to, and they also fit a lot better, which is probably why some patients still choose them. Costwise, they are more affordable than implants, and the procedure is a lot less invasive. Dentures are also a better option for patients who have weak jaw bones or gums.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a restorative procedure for patients with healthy gums and bones. Titanium rods are inserted into the jawbone, acting as a replacement for the roots of the missing tooth.
Over time, the rod and the bone fuse together, creating strong support for your new tooth or teeth. Unlike dentures, implants look and feel very much like your own teeth.
Pros and cons of implants versus dentures.
So now you know what the difference is between the two, how do you decide which procedure is the right one for you? When it comes to deciding between dentures or implants, there are a few things to consider.
- Dentures need an adhesive to keep them in place; implants, on the other hand, are permanent.
- Traditional dentures need to be taken out to be cleaned. They also have to be removed when you sleep. Implants can be brushed and flossed, just like your own teeth.
- Unlike implants, dentures cover your palate, which can affect the way you speak and even your sense of taste.
- With dentures, there are certain foods you will have to avoid, and they can make an annoying clicking sound when you eat. Patients with implants can eat pretty much anything. And there are no irritating sounds when you chew.
- A significant disadvantage of dentures is bone loss, which over time leads to an alteration in the look of your face. After many years, this creates sagging jowls, wrinkles, thinning lips, and a sunken-in look around the cheeks. Because implants stimulate the jaw bone, there is no bone loss.
Implants have several key benefits.
According to Dr. Monroe at Monroe Family Dentistry, there are many benefits associated with implants, especially if you are a suitable candidate. These include:
They look more natural.
A major advantage of implants is how much they look and feel like your own teeth. They are also permanent, which means you don’t have to worry about them slipping around in your mouth or falling out.
They fit better.
Dental implants, unlike dentures, are far more comfortable and fit better. You needn’t worry about them affecting your speech, changing the way you chew your food, or becoming ill-fitting as your mouth, palate, and jaw continue to change.
Implants are both convenient and long-lasting.
Implants are far more convenient than dentures. You don’t have to take them out to clean them or remove them at night when you sleep. Also, with the correct care and maintenance, implants can last longer than dentures.
You’ll feel more confident.
Implants can restore your smile, giving your confidence a boost. For some people, dentures make them feel self-conscious, affecting how they socialize and interact with others.
Frequently Asked Questions about Implants
With more people choosing implants over dentures, our patients want to know as much as possible about the procedure. We have put a list together of the most frequently asked questions we get at Monroe Family Dentistry.
How successful are implants?
The success rate of implants is around 98 percent, but this depends very much on the individual. Your dentist will be able to discuss this in more detail once he has done a thorough examination.
Are implants suitable for everyone?
As a rule of thumb, yes. However, there are exceptions. Heavy smokers, patients with heart disease or diabetes, and those that have had radiation treatment around the neck and head area will need to be assessed by their dentist.
Is the procedure painful?
Because the procedure can be done using local anesthesia, patients experience very little pain. Any post-care discomfort is usually treated with pain medicines that can be purchased over the counter.
How do I look after my implants?
After your implants, you look the same way you would with your own teeth. You should brush them twice a day, floss, use an antibacterial mouthwash, and have regular checkups with your dentist.
For more information about dental implants, book your appointment with Dr. Monroe today.