Contrary to what many people believe, it does matter what you replace your missing teeth with, especially if you are missing an entire row of teeth. Those who are faced with the reality of having no teeth, either on the top or bottom, are forced to choose between two options: traditional dentures or dental implant-supported dentures. There are some significant differences between the two options and it is important to remember how this decision will affect your quality of life. Dr. Leonard Hess offers both options at his Monroe, NC dentist office. If you are missing all or most of the entire arch of teeth, you should schedule a consultation with Dr. Hess to learn which replacement option is best for you.
Dental Implants vs Dentures
Having a lot of missing teeth will obviously affect the way you look and feel about yourself. Both traditional dentures and implant-supported dentures will hold the shape of your face and give you the appearance of teeth again. You will be able to smile without embarrassment with either option. Other than appearances, dentures and implants do not really have anything else in common.
The Advantages of Traditional Dentures
For a long time, dentures have been the solution for patients who are missing teeth. There are a few advantages to choosing this option, the main reason being the cost. Dentures cost significantly less than implants by thousands of dollars. They can also be made fairly quickly while implants can take up to nine months until the final dentures can be placed.
Getting dentures only involves impressions of your teeth and mouth while implants involve invasive surgery and healing time. Finally, some patients may not qualify for implants because they suffer from gum or bone loss. Implants require significant bone density in order to support the implant. Almost anyone can be fitted for traditional dentures.
The advantage of Implant-Supported Dentures
The thing to keep in mind when considering the cost of both options is quality of life. Dental implants have the capacity to let the patients live a normal life. Denture wearers constantly have to worry about taking care of their fake teeth. They require a time-consuming daily cleaning routine and a gooey adhesive to keep them in place in your mouth. They also have to worry about them accidentally slipping or falling out while eating or speaking.
Certain foods are also an issue with dentures. You are only capable of eating certain foods and will need to avoid sticky or tough foods. Dentures also have to be adjusted often or even replaced eventually.
Dental implants are an investment in, not just your oral health, but your overall health. They allow you to eat whatever food you want, making it easier to follow a healthy diet. They are surgically implanted into the jaw bone and will fuse with the surrounding bone meaning they are permanent, stable, and durable. No chance of them falling out or causing you to slur your speech. That also means you do not need to apply the gooey adhesive to keep them in place.
The most important advantage of dental implants is they preserve the jaw bone. Dentures will not replace the tooth root. An implant-supported denture will require six to eight surgically placed implants. These actually replace a tooth root which prevents bone loss.