Dentures or dental implants? It’s almost as hotly a debated subject these days as the chicken and the egg. Of course, if you’re someone who’s facing the decision of how best to replace teeth you’ve lost, it’s infinitely more important. And, since most people have encountered this situation at one time or other in their life, it is a far-reaching dilemma indeed. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, well over half of all Americans ages 35 to 45 have had one or more missing teeth in their lives, meaning that the question of whether to opt for dentures or dental implants is one that is faced by thousands of patients daily, in Morristown and throughout the country. If you find yourself in this group, here’s some information that will help you to arrive at the best and most informed decision that is right for your situation.
Dentures are artificial teeth that can be put in and taken out. Some patients actually find this a convenience, while others would rather have ‘permanent’ teeth. A quality dentist in Morristown will begin your procedure by making an impression of the inside of your mouth in order to construct teeth that should fit comfortably for you. Some patients need full or complete dentures, while others need partial dentures. Full dentures are made for patients who are missing all of their teeth either in the upper or lower arch. Partial dentures are fitted for patients who are missing a few but not all teeth on either the upper or lower arch. Dental adhesive will keep bottom dentures in place, while partial dentures use clasps for attaching to the teeth surrounding them. Crowns may also be placed on surrounding teeth to anchor partials.
Dentures are beneficial to patients because they aid in chewing and speaking. They also help to improve self-esteem as a patient’s appearance typically improves with dentures. One of the pros of dentures is that they typically cost less than dental implants. Cons of dentures include the fact that they can at times cause discomfort; they can slip; and replacement usually is required within 10 years or less.
Dental implants are replacement teeth that are anchored into the jawbone with screws, thereby actually taking the place of the root of a missing tooth. When a patient is being fitted for dental implants, surgical placement of the tooth’s anchor will need to be performed. Sometimes more than one surgery is necessary. Following surgery, healing needs to occur, this typically takes up to six months. A crown is then fitted onto the implant that takes the place of the lost tooth. Dental implants do tend to cost more than dentures, but they typically do not need to be replaced as they can last up to 40 years if a good dental hygiene routine is followed. This fact can make the cost of dentures and the cost of dental implants comparable to each other. Additionally, dental implants are better at preserving bone because they are integrated and anchored into the jawbone, thereby replacing the root of the missing tooth. This factor helps to prevent bone as well as gums from deteriorating. Conversely, dentures can cause recession of the jawbone because they are not integrated into the mouth. Dental implants also look and function like natural teeth. Some of the other pros of dental implants include no slipping and low maintenance.
Dentures and dental implants … they both have their pros and cons, but both are designed to make your life better. If you’ve lost one or more teeth, true, you have a dilemma, but it’s actually a happy dilemma. Can experiencing tooth loss and having to decide on which method of replacement seem overwhelming? Sure. But imagine a time when people had no other option but to flash a toothless grin. And imagine a day when people didn’t have the quality dentists in Morristown that we have today. Today, there are advantages for people who wish to replace missing teeth because of the multiple options available. Whether you’ve chosen dentures or dental implants, no doubt your decision will have a positive effect not just on your smile, but on your emotional well-being and confidence as well. Contact a quality dentist for more information on how dentures or dental implants can impact your life for the better.