Missing teeth getting you down? Tooth loss is extremely common and so you certainly aren't alone. There are many reasons why we might lose our teeth. Many instances of tooth loss are caused by severe decay or gum disease that either means that teeth fall out of their own accord or need to be extracted. Trauma, such as a blow to the face, is another one of the most common causes of tooth loss. Unsurprisingly, the more teeth you lose, the bigger the impact their loss will have on your day to day life, affecting both the way that your teeth look and how you use them.
Thankfully, there is no need to live with tooth loss. There are now more options available to help you restore your teeth than ever before. Two of the most popular are dental implants and dentures. Here's what you need to know about both of these solutions to help you decide which is right to help you find your smile again.
Dental implants are the newest and arguably the most effective way of replacing missing teeth. Their design is simple but entirely unique in that it is the only solution that replaces the original tooth root with an artificial alternative. This is made from a titanium post which is surgically implanted into the jaw where the bone heals around it, securing it permanently in place. Attached to this is a special connector that connects it to the visible part of the solution – a bespoke porcelain crown that is designed to replicate your original tooth. Once in place, dental implants look, feel and act just like a regular tooth. In fact, they are so realistic that they are virtually impossible to tell apart from your natural teeth.
Dental implants are widely considered to be superior to any other method of replacing missing teeth. This is because of the unique advantages that they offer, which include:
They are the closest in appearance to natural teeth of any other tooth loss solution.
Dental implants are extremely comfortable to wear since they don't put any undue pressure on any other teeth or oral structures.
They are more stable than other tooth loss solutions as they are permanently anchored into the jaw bone.
The implants themselves stimulate the jaw bone itself, causing it to remain strong and healthy, rather than deteriorating which is often the case with other tooth loss treatments.
Dental implants are permanent, so once they are in place you don't need to worry about them.
They make it easy to take proper care of your teeth. This is because you can brush and floss just like normal, without needing to worry about your teeth pulling out.
They are long-lasting and provided they are cared for properly, there's no reason that they can't last upwards of 20 years.
The dental implant technique can be used to replace single missing teeth, bridges comprising of several teeth, partial or even full dentures. The number of implant posts needed will depend on the number of teeth being replaced. However, this design makes the treatment extremely versatile and able to meet the needs of most patients.
Dentures are a traditional solution used to replace part or all of an arch of teeth that have fallen out or been removed. Their design and the materials used have evolved over the years, but the basic premise behind them is still the same. Dentures comprise of a series of artificial teeth which are normally made from porcelain or composite and are placed into a flesh-colored acrylic bespoke mold that is placed over your gums. Each denture is attached using a special adhesive that is placed onto the mold that sits over your gums. This is designed to last for the duration of the day, enabling you to remove your dentures before bed so that they can be left in a mixture of water and cleaning solution overnight.
Dentures remain a very effective solution to replace missing teeth. However, they do not offer the same advantages as dental implants. In fact, there are a few things that patients who choose dentures need to be aware of. These include:
Dentures are less comfortable than dental implants. This is because they sit over the gum and can cause irritation and soreness when they rub against it.
The adhesive that is used isn't always as secure as patients would like, and this can cause some slipping and moving around when you eat, talk, laugh, sneeze, etc.
Dentures are very fragile and must be handled with care. Breakages are quite common and can be expensive to keep repairing.
Your jaw bone beneath the denture is likely to deteriorate as there is no root to stimulate it. This can mean that your jaw will change shape over time and you may need to have your dentures altered so that they still fit well.
Although dentures may still be a viable treatment for some patients, the majority are moving towards dental implants which represents a better long-term investment in the appearance of their smile.
To find out if you are a good candidate for dental implants, contact our dental clinic where our team would be happy to schedule your consultation.