What You Need to Know about Dental Implants and Dentures
While the rate of tooth loss has declined with time, it’s still a common enough problem that you or someone you know has probably had to deal with it. The risk of suffering tooth loss only increases as we age simply due to the fact there are more years of use wearing on our teeth, along with other bodily changes that occur as we age that can play a part. No matter the reason why you have suffered your tooth loss, the important thing is finding a solution. Various studies have shown a link between low self-esteem and other emotional issues with tooth loss. Of course, if you’re missing teeth, you don’t need a study to confirm how you know you already feel.
If you’re tired of hiding your smile in pictures or avoiding social situations because you think people will notice the gaps in your teeth, it’s time to get some help. There are a variety of ways that your dentist can help you feel good about your smile again. The key is to get some preliminary facts on these potential treatments and to make an appointment with your dentist to speak about them. Only your dentist can tell what specific procedure would be best for you as there are different criteria a person has to meet for each. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular and common procedures used to treat tooth loss.
Dental implants have been in use for awhile now, but they are still the relative newcomer to dentistry. While the concept of an implant has been in existence for thousands of years, it’s really only since the mid 20th century that they have been effectively used. It was in the 1950s that titanium, the metal currently used in implants, was first successfully tested in a patient.
Dental implants approximate your natural teeth as closely as possible for an attractive appearance and full functionality. A titanium post is inserted into your jawbone and allowed to fuse for several weeks. Then the artificial tooth is attached once conditions are appropriate. Unlike with dentures, there is no real “getting used to” period because of the method of installation and how the tooth is constructed. It really does feel like the rest of your teeth.
Most people are probably familiar with the concept of dentures. After all, they have existed in some form since the 7th century BC according to historians. That’s quite a long time for the concept to be around and perfected! While materials have changed drastically from bones and wood to porcelain and acrylics, the idea hasn’t changed all that much.
Dentures can be made as both partial or full sets depending on your needs. That’s what has made them such a flexible and widely used solution for multiple missing teeth for so long. Partial dentures fit into your mouth via plates and, on occasion, clips to fill in the gaps made by multiple consecutive missing teeth. Recently, more flexible partial dentures have been developed that are more lightweight and comfortable to wear. Their metal-free and hypoallergenic construction make them a great solution for people’s whose gums might respond poorly to certain irritants. As a bonus, they’re also invisible when worn because the blend in to match the color of your gums.
Full Mouth Dental Implants
When you’re missing all of your teeth, full mouth dentures are actually kept in place with adhesives or posts depending on your individual condition. How long it takes you to adjust to the feeling of the dentures in your mouth changes based on the individual. A good tip for speeding up the process is wearing them as often as possible and getting comfortable speaking with them in your mouth. Typically, though, this process only takes about two weeks.
What’s right for you?
Only your dentist can tell you what kind of procedure would suit your needs best. But, there are some things to keep in mind when deciding between dental implants and dentures. Typically, due to the cost of full mouth dental implants, patients opt for a dental implant if they are only replacing a single tooth. Sometimes you may opt for implants if it’s a few teeth, but that is case by case. Also, the health of your jawbone will also dictate whether dental implants are an option. If for some reason the bone can’t support the posts, then dental implants won’t work. If you are replacing many or all of your teeth or you aren’t in the proper health, dentures will likely be your treatment route.
Now that you know more about dental implants, dentures, and the options available to you to correct your tooth loss, it’s time to take the next step. If you’re ready to get your confidence back and love your smile again, contact us today to set up an appointment. Our team is here to help you feel your best.
Author: Dr. Ben Ifraimov