Dental Implants and Dentures are More Common than You may Think
It is estimated that 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, and more than 35 million Americans do not have any teeth. Both dentures and dental implants can be potential solutions for problems associated with missing teeth, such as difficulty chewing and eating, which can lead to nutritional and digestive issues.
When gums are exposed, food and bacteria can get stuck in them, which can lead to infection and eventually gum disease, which has been linked to both heart disease and diabetes. Additionally, without teeth to support the jaw structure, facial structures may begin to look old and distorted, and can even make it hard to talk. And sometimes, people want to replace missing teeth simply to regain their smile, which is reason enough.
As described above, it is critical that missing teeth be addressed for a variety of reasons that can be impactful on one’s general health and well-being. Rapid bone loss, defective speech, and changes to chewing patterns are all complications that can arise from missing teeth, resulting in significant discomfort. Missing teeth are not only unhealthy for your mouth, but they can also impact overall health and self-esteem. However, replacing lost teeth with dentures or dental implants can help improve a patient’s quality of life and health significantly.
Dentures – What are they and who are they for?
Dentures are removable prosthetic teeth replacements (also known as false teeth) that come in either a full or partial set. This option is most popular for patients who are missing sets of teeth, or all of their teeth, rather than single teeth here and there. They’re also ideal for those with unhealthy or weak jaws. Dentures must be secured with denture adhesive; however, they can be removed throughout the day as needed.
Types of Dentures:
Conventional: Full, removable denture is made and placed in the mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed. (Timeframe: up to several months)
Immediate Denture: Inserted on the same day the remaining teeth are removed. Measurements and models of your jaw will be taken during a preliminary visit; however, the denture may need to be relined or remade by your dentist after your jaw has healed.
Overdenture: In the event some of the teeth can be saved, a partial overdenture can be used to preserve some of the jawbone. In the event that some of the teeth can be saved, a partial or overdenture can be utilized to fill the edentulous spaces. The partial/overdenture uses remaining teeth as an anchor and rests on top of the soft tissues like a traditional denture.
- Less expensive than dental implants
- Can be removed at any time
- Provide a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing way to restore your smile
- Can slip out of place while eating or speaking if not properly secured
- Dentures cause bone resorption because when teeth are not present to stimulate the jaw bone, the bone decays and reccesses
- Can lead to infection or tooth decay if not properly fitted
- Must be cleaned regularly or replaced if showing signs of significant wear
- Dont have full chewing function
Dental Implants – What are they and who are they for?
Dental implants are permanent teeth replacements and have become a popular alternative to dentures. They are surgically placed within the jawbone, where they serve as the roots of missing teeth. The titanium in the implants fuses with the jawbone, mimicking natural bone. Unlike dentures, dental implant supported dentures preserve the jawbone and provide function to almost the same degree as natural dentition.
Dental implant candidates:
- Have one or more missing teeth
- Have a jawbone that has reached full growth
- Have adequate bone to secure the implants
- Have healthy oral tissues
- Don’t have health conditions that will affect bone healing
- Are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
- Want to improve their speech
- Are willing to commit several months to complete the process
- Don’t smoke tobacco
- Last longer and save you money over time
- Easier to maintain than dentures
- Do not have to worry about them falling out in social situations
- Possible damage to surrounding natural teeth or tissues during placement
- Difficulty cleaning the gums around the implant
Contact Greenville Oral Surgery Partners to learn more and find out whether dentures or dental implants are right for you.