Missing teeth can happen for a variety of reasons including injury, tooth decay, or gum disease. Regardless of how our patients came to lose their tooth or teeth, we take care to ensure that the tooth is replaced as soon as possible to maintain chewing function, retain facial shape and structure, and reduce the risk of more teeth falling out. There is also a likelihood of the missing teeth causing TMJ, which can lead to headaches and jaw pain. When our patients ask us about their options, generally we tend to suggest implants over dentures. We have provided you with a few of those reasons below.
For those that are good candidates for implants, there is no more need for gooey adhesives, clips, or brackets. You won’t have to find your teeth, soak them overnight, or worry about the adhesive losing its grip during a conversation. The titanium implant will be secured to the bone in your jaw with a very small surgery. The bone tissue then grows around the implant creating a solid anchor for your tooth. Usually the bone will deteriorate after the root has been removed, but using an implant, the bone stays intact because the implant acts as the root.
The crowns we use over the implants are very natural-looking. Implants are also not susceptible to decay like dentures and bridges tend to be. They still need to be brushed and flossed just like any other tooth, but if they are taken care of, they can last the patient a lifetime. You are also able to speak and eat with the confidence you had with your original teeth, whereas many denture patients lack self-esteem, because they are worried their dentures will dislodge or float.
As anyone with dentures will tell you, they can be quite uncomfortable. Dentures have a tendency to move around, slip, and float, causing pain and embarrassment. Dentures may even cause sores from the movement of the denture on the sensitive gums. Because implants are secured directly to the bone, they do not move. After the initial surgery healing time, they are quite comfortable, and feel just like your real teeth did.
Having implants might just save you money. While at first dentures appear to be the cheaper option, the adhesives and cleaners that are needed will add up over the life of the dentures. You will also need to consider a replacement pair of dentures as most people will need at least one new set of dentures due to the changing of the bone structure, or just common wear and tear.
While both dentures and implants can create a solution for those in need, implants provide patients with better overall lifestyle benefits.