Missing teeth can have a significant impact on how often you smile. Whether you have missing teeth as a result of injury or poor dental hygiene, your dentist should provide a couple of different options, including implants, dentures, or bridges. Implants are often the right solution to replace missing teeth, providing a range of benefits that dentures cannot. If you aren’t familiar with dental implants, here is some information to explain what the difference is between dentures and implants and the benefits that come with choosing implants.
What are Dentures?
Dentures, which are also known as false teeth, are teeth that have been made from a composite material and fitted onto a mouthpiece that is affixed to your gums with dental adhesive. Although dentures have come a long way over the years, they are much stronger and more natural-looking, but they are still uncomfortable for many people. Wearing partial dentures or a bridge can cause tooth decay in the healthy surrounding teeth if they are not fitted properly or if they are not properly cleaned. For some people, the dentist may recommend dentures as the best option for replacing missing teeth, such as those with a weak jaw or unhealthy gums, and the upfront costs for dentures is often less expensive than dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are natural-looking false teeth that your dentist surgically installs into your jaw. They are a modern and innovative solution to replacing missing teeth. Unlike dentures that simply provide a facade of your natural teeth, implants are an actual replacement for missing teeth. Implants consist of a titanium screw that is implanted into your jaw to serve as an anchor for dental crowns. Dental implants are permanently installed by your dentist and do not require daily removal for cleaning or the use of adhesives – you actually brush your implants in the same manner as you brush your natural teeth. Implants look and feel like your own natural teeth, and they can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Whether you have one missing tooth or all of your teeth are missing, dental implants can be used as a replacement for your natural teeth.
Dental implants eliminate the discomfort and pain typically associated with removable dentures. Dentures are made to sit on top of your jawbone and gums, but unfortunately, the continuous shrinking of your jaw bone as a result of missing teeth will alter the fit of dentures and cause them to rock or slip out of place. Irritation of the gum tissue and exposed nerves can add to the discomfort of wearing dentures. Implants are installed into the jawbone, so there is no slippage. They are supported and anchored in place, so they fit just like your natural teeth, which eliminates the gum irritation and exposed nerves that are often associated with dentures.
One of the most common problems people experience while wearing dentures is difficulties speaking. Dentures, especially if they are ill-fitting, will slip and slide around in your mouth, causing your facial muscles to tense up in an attempt to hold the dentures in place. Unfortunately, this often results in slurred speech, mumbling, and/or clicking sounds. Dental implants are held securely in place so you will be able to speak in a natural, relaxed manner.
Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem
Missing teeth can have a significant effect on your confidence level and your self-esteem. Although dentures are a source of replacing missing teeth, they may still prevent you from feeling as confident as you did with your natural teeth. Dental implants will allow you to feel better about the way you look, feel, and speak. The best way to improve your confidence is with a healthy smile, and dental implants will allow you to achieve the healthy smile you need to improve your confidence and rebuild your self-esteem.
Eat Whatever You Want
Missing teeth and dentures both often prevent you from eating the foods you enjoy. As your jawbone shrinks, your chewing abilities become significantly reduced, making it difficult to eat certain foods. Dental implants allow you to restore your chewing efficiency because they are just like your natural teeth. This means you can eat your favorite foods without pain or fear of your dentures slipping while eating. Wearing upper dentures will cover the palate of your mouth, which reduces the ability to taste foods, but with dental implants, your palate is exposed so you can taste and enjoy eating your favorite foods.
Dental implants are much more convenient than dentures. Wearing dentures means you may have to frequently remove them to reapply the adhesive needed to hold them in place. Depending on the situation, you may have to do this several times a day. Dental implants do not require messy adhesives and there is no risk of them slipping out of place due to a lack of adhesive. Wearing dentures means you often have to cover your mouth out of fear that your teeth will move around or come out while laughing, but dental implants prevent this from happening and allow you to laugh and smile freely.
Dental implants are generally more appropriate than a partial denture for the replacement of one or more adjacent teeth. When wearing conventional bridgework or a partial denture, the teeth surrounding the missing teeth must be ground down to allow space for the bridge. Dental implants typically eliminate the need to modify surrounding teeth, which provides a more aesthetic restoration. The surrounding teeth are also at a greater risk of decay when a partial denture is worn. Dental implants protect the surrounding teeth and your oral hygiene will be much easier to maintain. Also, wearing dentures often means you have to visit the dentist more than normal to replace non-fitting, broken dentures, but having dental implants means there will be less need to visit your dentist for treatment apart from routine cleanings and checkups.
To find out if you are a candidate for dental implants, contact Classic Smiles.