Missing teeth are no laughing matter; even one missing tooth can wreck your whole smile. The empty space may cause your remaining teeth to shift, interfering with your alignment and potentially changing the shape of your face. Bone density can also decrease due to lack of usage.
Thankfully, dentures and dental implants offer a solution to the problems caused by missing teeth:
- Dentures are removable sets of teeth that replace missing ones. Full sets of dentures are placed directly over your gums, while partial dentures are attached to existing teeth via crowns or clasps. Dentures are removable, non-invasive and easily adjustable to support your mouth’s changing needs.
- Dental implants are false teeth attached to titanium posts embedded directly into the jawbone. Implants are a permanent restoration option that look and feel like natural teeth.
If you’re wondering which solution is right for you, consider the following factors:
Although dental implants are more expensive up front, dentures require continued maintenance, which means that they are an ongoing investment. However, insurance companies are far more likely to provide coverage for dentures. Implant-supported dentures are typically seen as a cosmetic procedure, so most patients must pay entirely out of pocket or determine other financial options.
Dentures need to be frequently removed and cleaned with a special solution, as one would with retainers or aligners. Alternatively, dental implants are cleaned and cared for just as you would your natural teeth.
Implants are a better option for continued health, as they maintain bone integrity and allow for steady bone growth. However, because implants are inserted into the bone, patients with a history of bone or gum loss are unsuitable candidates for this treatment. Dentures are a good alternative for anyone with weak jaw issues.
It should be noted, though, that the use of dentures comes with increased health risks such as:
- Mouth sores as a result of the dentures rubbing up against the rest of your mouth.
- Weakening of any surrounding natural teeth supporting the dentures.
- Possible infection if food gets trapped between your dentures and gums.
Dentures require replacement every three to six years. They are also fragile and must be handled with caution to prevent breaking. With proper care, dental implants can last up to 20 years, but the crowns will need replacing over time.
Both dentures and dental implants are great options to restore missing teeth and prevent any resulting damage. Which procedure you choose depends on a variety of factors such as the ones listed above, but only your dentist will be able to determine if you are a viable candidate for either option.
Schedule a complimentary smile consultation with Dentistry at East Piedmont today to find out which treatment is right for you.