Maintaining a confident smile means keeping your dental health in top shape at all times. Yet, issues can arise that threaten that smile and make you want to hide it rather than share with others. One of those issues is the loss of a tooth as a result of tooth decay, gum disease, trauma, or other unfortunate situation.
Fortunately, when this happens today, you have options available to help restore your smile and bite when teeth are missing. These options are dental implants or dentures. Both are beneficial, yet which one you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including personal preferences and the structure and health of your mouth.
The Specific Differences Between Dental Implants and Dentures
Before deciding between dental implants and dentures, it’s essential to understand the differences between the two and how they work. Your dentist may recommend one choice over the other, but in most cases, it will be your choice based on your lifestyle and particular needs.
Dental implants are long-lasting, permanent replacements for your missing teeth and will require caring for much like your natural teeth. They are a strong option that will not only re-establish your smile but also provide you with confidence when enjoying all your favorite foods.
The dental implant procedure is somewhat invasive, however, and will take considerable time to complete. To start, your dentist will need to extract any part of the tooth or teeth remaining in the natural sockets.
The next step is to insert a synthetic anchor into your jawbone to act like the roots of natural teeth. Once the area has time to heal, a crown-like tooth or a bridge will be attached to the anchor, creating the feel and appearance of natural teeth.
Dentures differ from implants in that they are removable teeth replacements. These can be either partial or complete replacements, depending on a patient’s specific needs. Dentures are formulated to look like your natural teeth and gums so you won’t be afraid to smile again. You will, however, need to use an adhesive to ensure the dentures stay in place.
The procedure for getting dentures begins with the taking of impressions. These impressions may be of your lower gums, upper gums, or both, depending on what you need. Next, your dentist will make an analysis of your bite and alignment to help determine the correct denture length for normal chewing and speaking.
With this information, a dental lab will create a set of preliminary dentures, which you will then try out. Your dentist will check out the fit and determine if any length adjustments or a change in alignment needs to be made. Finally, the final dentures will be created for you.
Before leaving the dental office with your new dentures, your dentist will go over the adhesive techniques and how to care for them at home. As your bite changes in the years ahead, you may need to be fitted for new dentures, so keep this in mind. Other issues you might experience with dentures are potential slippage at times and occasional mouth sores.
The Advantages of Replacing Damaged or Missing Teeth
Replacing damaged and missing teeth is a personal decision. However, your dental health will benefit from doing so. These benefits include:
- Re-establishing and boosting a confident smile
- Protecting and maintaining bone structure of your mouth and the jawbone
- Improving your speaking abilities
- Bettering the ability to chew and eat normally
- To support facial muscles and prevent a caving-in effect
- To decrease risks of food and bacteria sticking in the vacant spaces of your mouth, which can result in gum disease and infection.
Discuss your options for replacing missing or damaged teeth with your dentist.
Which One Is for You? Dental Implants or Dentures?
Making a selection between dental implants and dentures can be challenging, yet much will depend on a variety of important factors, including the number of damaged or missing teeth, your age, lifestyle, and bone density and structure.
Number of Teeth to Replace
Your choice will rely heavily on the number of damaged or missing teeth you are replacing. The more you need to replace, the costlier it will be. At a certain point, choosing dentures over implants may be a better financial decision for you.
Bone Density and Structure
Bone density and structure are important factors and can make your choice for you when it comes to dental implants or dentures. In order to receive dental implants, your jawbone must be determined to be strong enough to support the required anchors and posts. Many factors can weaken bone, inducing injury, gum disease, and age.