Many people experience some type of permanent tooth loss through the course of their lives for a variety of different reasons. Lost teeth can be an embarrassment for many people in their professional or personal lives. Patients often discuss their discomfort at social gatherings or when they speak with prospective clients. They feel like they want to hide their teeth altogether. This can affect their ability to interact with other people.
There are two main types of replacement options for missing teeth, implants or dentures. It is important to understand the pros and cons of each so that you can make an educated decision about your dental future.
Dentures are a false set of teeth. Historically, dentures have been the only option for people who experienced tooth loss. While their function and appearance have certainly improved since the days of George Washington's wooden dentures, there are still some significant flaws in dentures for many patients.
In order to keep the dentures in place, an adhesive is required. This adhesive must be applied and cleaned daily. If the adhesive fails, the dentures are free to move about your mouth while you speak, eat, or breathe. This has created many embarrassing moments for patients of all walks of life.
Partial dentures may be an option for patients who haven't lost all their teeth. Partial dentures fit around the existing teeth to fill in any gaps where teeth have gone missing. Unfortunately, a poor fit of partial dentures can promote tooth decay and tooth loss.
However, this doesn't mean that dentures aren't a good option for some patients. Dentures are a particularly good option for patients that have weak dental bones or gums. In these cases, implant supported teeth cannot be anchored properly. A dentist will not offer the procedure for these patients. Dentures may be their only option to have the appearance of a full set of natural teeth.
Initial cost for dentures is lower than that of dental implants, but dentures must be replaced every few years. This means that the overall cost of dentures can end up being higher than dental implants.
New advances in dental science have allowed for the creation of implant supported teeth. These teeth use a small titanium post that is installed into the bone underneath the gums. A false tooth is then placed onto the post. The bone will eventually grow around the post and make it a permanent fixture for the patient.
Implants are meant as a long-term solution to tooth loss. The procedure to place an implant means that your dental work won't slip around as you talk or eat. Implant supported teeth allow for patients to eat a greater variety of foods than traditional dentures.
Implants don't require special cleaning or maintenance and are less likely to experience damage than your natural teeth. You care for your implanted crowns the same way that you care for your normal teeth, brushing, flossing, and regular checkups with our dentist. This means you don't have daily adhesives to apply and remove.
Implant supported teeth are a larger upfront cost than dentures. However, if you factor in denture replacements, adhesives, specialized cleaning supplies, and repairs, implants may end up being a more cost-effective solution.
If you are considering implants, it is important to check with your insurance company. Some insurance companies will cover all of the costs, while others will only cover certain portions.
If you are considering dentures or implants, it is important to get the full picture. If you have questions or concerns, contact us and schedule an appointment with our dentist today. Our dentist can help you understand how each option will specifically affect you.