Millions of people in our country are missing all of their teeth. As people age, complete tooth loss is a realistic issue they may face. Because of this, restorative treatments are in high demand. If you have lost all of your teeth, deciding how to replace them may seem like an overwhelming task. Dr. Heather Adams is a Rogers, AR restorative dentist and has helped many patients decide which treatment is best for them. The two main options you have to choose from are removable dentures and implant-supported dentures.
Removable dentures, commonly called false teeth, have come a long way in terms of quality. Today’s dentures are more natural looking and more durable. They have been the standard option for edentulous patients for many years. The false teeth are typically made out of porcelain or acrylic and attached to an acrylic base. The base is made to look like and blend in with the surrounding gums. The dentures will rest on the gums where suction will hold them in place. Adhesive may also be used to help hold the denture in place.
Using dental implants to hold the denture in place is becoming a more popular solution for edentulous patients. A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jawbone. This post will form a strong bond with the surrounding bone during a process called osseointegration. To secure an upper denture, a series of four to eight implants will be placed in the jawbone. For a lower denture, you will need at least two to five implants placed.
Dental Implants vs Dentures
During your consultation, Dr. Adams will help you choose between the two options and explain the risks of doing nothing. Below, we will break down the pros and cons of each option.
Pro and Cons of Removable Dentures
A basic set of removable dentures will hold the shape of your face and allow you to eat and speak better than you did without teeth. You will be able to smile again and not be embarrassed by a mouthful of missing teeth. It also does not cost as much to have removable dentures made because it is fairly simple process that does not involve surgery. The process to make a complete set of dentures takes about two to six weeks.
The greatest downfall of removable dentures is they do not replace the teeth roots. Over time, the jawbone will slowly deteriorate and that bone loss will cause the denture fit to change. You will have to have your dentures adjusted to fit correctly or have them replaced. If the dentures do not fit correctly, this could lead to sores and infections in the mouth. Dentures also have a bad reputation for slipping around in the mouth, causing slurred speech and make eating difficult. Getting used to wearing them will take some time. You will have to adhere to a daily cleaning routine that can be time consuming.
Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
The greatest benefit of choosing dental implants is they replace the teeth roots. This will prevent bone loss and permanently hold the shape of your face, helping you keep your youthful appearance. Since they are implanted into bone, this creates a secure and durable foundation to hold the denture. Because of this, there are less food restrictions and no chance of the denture slipping around or falling out. This will also allow you to speak naturally. They are easier to care for and can last a lifetime if you maintain healthy oral hygiene habits. Overall, they will look, feel and function just like your natural teeth. With a very high success rate, dental implants have a better chance of boosting your self-esteem.
All of these benefits come with a price though. Dental implants are very costly because the process to get them is invasive and will require many visits to our Rogers, AR dentist office. You will need surgery to have the implants placed and treatment time can take up to nine months or longer depending on any additional dental work you may need.
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