If you are missing some of all of your natural teeth or face having them all pulled, you need to consider your treatment options. These typically include getting full-mouth dental implants or removable dentures to replace the teeth you have lost. Although you probably want to have your replacement teeth as soon as possible, it is important to take time upfront to evaluate your options carefully to ensure long-term satisfaction and success.
Comparing Dental Implants and Dentures
Improved aesthetics is the reason that many people initially choose dental implants over dentures. However, their value goes far beyond a more attractive smile. With tooth loss comes bone loss, and dental implants are the only known way to prevent bone loss in people with missing teeth. Because they function as natural teeth, dental implants preserve your facial structure and remaining jawbone.
Other benefits of choosing dental implants to replace your missing teeth include:
- They are strong, stable, and fit comfortably in your mouth due to secured attachment to your jaw.
- You don’t have to purchase adhesives to keep them in place or any additional products to clean them.
- Dental implants restore nearly all your bite power and chewing capacity.
- You can speak naturally without any hint of a speech impediment.
- They have a high rate of success and typically last a lifetime.
In contrast, dentures can look unnatural and feel uncomfortable. Some denture wearers never adjust to the feel of hard plastic across the roof of their mouth. Your dentures may also move around inside of your mouth and slip out of place at awkward times. Laughing, sneezing, or biting into certain foods can cause them to fall out of your mouth altogether. You may need to limit the foods you can safely eat to reduce the risk of breaking your dentures. Most importantly, wearing dentures can decrease the quality of your jawbone. This can cause additional deterioration of the structure of your face.
The lower cost of dentures is one clear advantage they have over dental implants. However, the initial upfront cost often does not tell the whole story. As a denture wearer, you need to buy adhesives and cleansing tablets in addition to paying for the cost of repair or replacement. The average longevity of removable dentures is seven to 15 years. That means you could need several new sets of dentures in your lifetime.
Dental Implants Replace Both Roots and Teeth
When you get dental implants, the first part of the process involves having your oral surgeon install new tooth roots. These are small titanium rods called abutments that go directly into your jawbone. After receiving them, you will need to wait several weeks to months for the jaw to heal. The process of osseointegration takes place during this time as well, which means your new roots fuse with your remaining jawbone. This preserves jaw integrity and normal facial structure.
Although obtaining dental implants is not immediate, you will have your permanent replacement teeth attached once this process is complete. You can now smile, eat, and speak with renewed confidence because of your permanent replacement teeth that perform and look like your natural teeth. If you are interested in learning more, contact Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery for a consultation.