Tooth loss is more common than you might think.
Did you know around 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and 40 million are missing all their teeth? With tooth loss being such a common problem across the United States, more and more people are turning to restorative dentistry to help save their smile and oral health. Here are a couple approaches you can consider to restore function to your smile.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants, which are titanium posts surgically placed into the jawbone, replicate the root of a natural tooth. The implant post then forms a strong bond with the jawbone, creating an anchor to hold a replacement tooth.
Implants offer a permanent and natural-looking solution to the problem of missing teeth. As a result, they’re fast becoming a more popular option than dentures. Your dentist can also use dental implants to replace either multiple teeth or a single tooth. What’s more, implants can support crowns and even dentures if you need more of a complete smile makeover.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Implants don’t only look and feel like natural teeth, they need the exact same care too. This makes them easy to care for, as it won’t be any different from the way you look after your natural teeth now. With daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, you can expect dental implants to last for many years.
Dental implants can also help maintain the structure and integrity of your jaw. This is because they serve as a replacement root for your missing tooth, stopping the surrounding teeth from shifting. In turn, this prevents the sunken facial appearance that is common in patients with tooth loss. In the same way, chewing with your implants helps stimulate and support the natural structure of your mouth. Applying force to them as you eat preserves your jawbone and prevents your gum tissue from shrinking. In turn, this helps avoid further tooth loss.
And, as if all that wasn’t enough to convince you, dental implants can hold for 20 years or more. It’s also possible to get implants in a single day, although the procedure does involve follow-up appointments. In fact, the one disadvantage of dental implants could be their higher cost when compared to dentures and the time it can take before you see the final result. Because of this, it’s particularly important to choose the right dentist to take you through every step of the way when deciding on such an involved restorative dentistry procedure.
Why choose dentures?
With so many advantages for choosing dental implants to replace missing teeth, you might be wondering why anyone chooses dentures these days. Dentures have a reputation for causing sores and being difficult to eat and speak with, especially at first. But with expert fitting, full and partial dentures can be comfortable and may even be preferable for some people. Plus, implants aren’t always the most suitable option for everyone.
If you have a compromised ability to heal or you’ve experienced extensive bone or gum loss, you might not be a good candidate for dental implants. In this case, your dentist will likely recommend sticking with dentures.
The procedure for fitting dentures is also less invasive, which can appeal to some people. Also, dentures are often ready within the space of around four dental visits, meaning a quicker turnaround. Another bonus for many patients is that dentures tend to be less expensive than dental implants.
Implant-Supported Dentures: A Combined Approach
Many people recognize the advantages of dental implants over dentures, but if you have a lot of missing teeth, replacing them all with dental implants might be outside of your budget. This is where implant-supported dentures could offer you the perfect solution.
Regular dentures tend to shift around and can feel bulky and uncomfortable. In contrast, implant-supported dentures provide a solid fit. This results in fewer of the problems associated with regular dentures, such as sores, difficulty chewing, and difficulty speaking.
Implant supported dentures also distribute pressure across your teeth in a more natural way than traditional dentures. This stimulates the supportive structures of your teeth, preventing bone and gum shrinkage in the same way regular dental implants can.
The Best Tooth Replacement Option for You
Whether you’ve suffered tooth loss due to an accident, gum disease, illness, or tooth decay, there are options to restore your smile. With such incredible advances in restorative dentistry over the last few decades, tooth replacement is now a lot easier, more effective, and longer-lasting than ever before. In fact, the hardest part is often deciding which treatment option is best for you. Luckily, here at Bruce Sexton, DDS, we have a lot of experience in guiding our patients toward the best option for their situation.
For more information or to request an appointment, feel free to contact us today!