If you’re missing teeth, there’s no reason to be ashamed. Tooth loss is fairly common, not just for the elderly but younger individuals as well. Nearly 70% of adults aged 35 to 44 years have at least one missing tooth, and 1 in 4 people over the age of 74 are missing all of their teeth.Our forefathers used to replace missing teeth with dentures made from a combination of rare hippopotamus ivory, human bone and metal fasteners. Fortunately, we have better options available today. Dental implants and dentures can help restore confidence in your smile and keep your mouth healthy.
Are dental implants or dentures even necessary?
First things first, do you even need dental implants or dentures? This is a good question to ask before taking the plunge and deciding between the two.Your confidence can take a hit when you’re missing teeth, but that’s not the only reason you should consider dental implants or dentures. Missing teeth can affect your health more than you realize.
When gums are exposed, it’s easy for food and bacteria to get stuck in them. And, if these food bits and bacteria aren’t removed, they could lead to nasty infections. Infection is often followed by gum disease, which has been linked to both heart disease and diabetes.Missing teeth affect the structure of your jaw as well. Your missing tooth’s next door neighbors may try to fill the gap by shifting to cover for your lost soldier. This tooth shift can have a domino effect. As your teeth move, your jawbone shifts over time and your mouth structure becomes more unstable. All of the above can lead to tooth decay and losing even more teeth.
Dental Implants or Dentures?
Dental implants and dentures are the most common options for loss of teeth. Dentures are false teeth, and although their quality has improved, they’re not ideal for everyone. If not secured with denture adhesive, dentures might slip out of place while eating or speaking, which could be embarrassing, and partial dentures might promote infection and decay in other teeth if they aren’t fitted properly, which may increase the risk that you would need a tooth filling on the abutment (adjoining) tooth. That said, dentures may be the best choice for people whose gums and jaw are weak or unhealthy.
Dentures (traditional false teeth) are suitable for any case where you have lost teeth as a result of damage, wear and tear. Dentures are ideally made from a cast metal and an acrylic base and of course the porcelain for the tooth element. They are created to fit into the empty space where the tooth has been lost. They are not permanent and thus they can be uncomfortable when speaking or chewing food. If they are not carefully secured in the mouth they can also result in additional saliva accumulating in the mouth. Dentures are also prone to wear and tear and thus they require proper dental hygiene.
Types of dentures
• Immediate: Your dentist inserts a removable denture on the same day they remove your remaining teeth. During your preliminary visit, they’ll take measurements of your jaw so they can create models. You don’t need to wait for your teeth during your healing time, but once your jaw heals, the dentist will have to remake or reline your dentures.
• Conventional: Your dentist creates and places a full removable denture into your mouth after they remove your remaining teeth and give your gum tissue a few months to heal.
• Overdenture: Your dentist may be able to preserve your jawbone by saving some of your natural teeth, providing support and stability for the installed denture. After molding it, they fit the overdenture over the small number of your remaining natural teeth. Implants can do the same thing.
How Dentures Work?
Dentures help fill out your profile and facial appearance. Yet your overall appearance doesn’t change much since dentures look like your natural teeth. They even improve your smile.
How Dentures Look?
When you start losing natural teeth, your facial muscles can sag, making you look older. Dentures make your face look fuller and younger. They resemble your natural teeth so much, chances are most people won’t even realize you’re wearing them. They may even improve the appearance of your smile.
How Dentures Function?
An essential function of your teeth is chewing your food. Once you get dentures, to be able to accomplish this “chewing function,” they’ll be doing all the chewing now instead. Therefore, dentures need to:
• Be securely fitted.
• Stay sharp and strong.
• Provide sufficient bite force.
• Allow effective and healthy jaw motions.
When your dentures aren’t secured properly with adhesive, they can slip out of place when you’re speaking or eating. Not only this but your jawbone — which once fundamentally supported your teeth — starts to go as well. The result of this happening is the lower part of your face will collapse from within. Consequently, you’ll have more soft tissue and skin than you’ll have supportive hard tissue, resulting in sagging, folding and sunken tissue surrounding your mouth.
Care of Dentures
Despite wearing full dentures, you’ll still need to continue practicing proper dental hygiene. This means brushing your tongue, cheeks, gums and roof of your mouth each morning using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Do this before inserting your dentures to help stimulate tissue circulation and remove plaque.You’ll also need to eliminate all plaque and food particles from your dentures just like you would your natural teeth. Before you brush your dentures to remove any loose food or debris, first rinse them off. Make sure you’re only using a soft-bristled brush since you don’t want to scratch the surfaces of your dentures.Make sure you clean your entire mouth to reduce the chances of bad breath and oral irritation. When you don’t have your dentures in, place them in water and store them in a safe place.
Dentures may require adhesives every so often. Adhesives can come in:
Lifespan of Dentures
You need to repair or replace your dentures typically every three to four years — through this range varies based on care and usage.Over time, dentures need to be relined, rebased or replaced since your mouth changes as you age. With relining, your dentist fits the denture base to your gum line by adding new material to the underside. When they use the existing denture as a model to make the base, it’s rebasing. Gum ridges shrink and recede and your jaws might not line up the same as bones. Because of this, your dentist will need to remake your dentures to fit properly one again.
Pros of Dentures
1. Lower cost
2. A good option for patients whose gums are not suited to implants
3. Simpler and cheaper if you are missing a lot of teeth
Cons of Dentures
1. The insecure bond results in movement and slippage
2. An adjustment period to get used to wearing them
3. Problems with eating or speaking
4. Irritation, discomfort and sores
5. Regular cleaning is required
6. Eventual replacement will be required
7. They do not preserve the bone and thus can result in further bone recession and even facial collapse.
Cost of Dentures
The cost of dentures can vary widely. However, the initial price you pay for them isn’t the “full” cost — it’s merely the up-front product price. The complete cost of your dentures can be much more than what you initially pay for them.
Since denture costs routinely don’t include:
1. The costs to the health of your jawbone.
2. The costs of the hassle and time to clean them.
3. The costs of the inevitable repairing and replacing them.
The dental implant, is a very durable solution to replacing missing teeth. These implants are made using metal and titanium that is fully compatible with the human body. The implant is put into place permanently by attaching it into the bone socket and the jaw. Once it is in place, it will fuse automatically with your jawbones.
Types of dental implants
Whether you need just one implant or a more substantial procedure, Smile: Design will help give your mouth a strong, permanent foundation.
There are 2 methods:
• Conventional method: A dental bridge anchors one or more false teeth on to the neighboring teeth. This conventional technique involves grinding healthy teeth and adding crowns to support the bridge. They are cheaper than dental implants but last only 8-10 years.
• Dental implant: A dental implant and ceramic crown are used to fill the gap left by the missing tooth. Designed to look, feel and function like a natural tooth, this is a permanent solution that allows you to regain your quality of life and oral health. Your neighboring teeth won’t be sacrificed with this method.
There are 2 methods:
• Conventional method: The traditional method of treating someone with several damaged or missing teeth is plastic dentures secured with clasps. It involves grinding down healthy teeth and adding crowns to support the bridge. Rarely does it produce an attractive result.
• Dental implants: A fixed bridge attached to dental implants gives optimal stability, aesthetic appeal and good functionality. Dental implants are more secure and a longer-term solution than dentures.
There are 2 methods:
• Conventional method: A complete set of false teeth held in by suction. This is the lowest cost option, and the acrylic plate can affect your sense of taste and ability to chew properly. They are often uncomfortable, difficult to eat with, and will cause your jawbone ridge to resorb.
• Dental implants: Dental implants offer the necessary stability for anchoring a removable denture, so that the denture stays in place firmly and can be taken out of the mouth for cleaning. Even better, dental implants can be used to permanently secure a fixed bridge in place that makes your teeth feel normal again. Both these options allow you to regain the quality of life that you’re used to, and regain your enjoyment of tasting and chewing food.
How Dental Implants Work?
Dental implant procedures typically involve a few steps:
• Your dentist surgically places the dental implant, generally a titanium tapered or cylindrical post, into your jawbone.
• Your implant fuses or attaches to your natural jawbone during the healing process, and the two grow simultaneously, ultimately forming the long-lasting and strong groundwork for your replacement teeth. It may take months to complete the healing process, but you’ll be able to go on with your daily life in between appointments.
• Finally, your dentist places an abutment, or small connector, on top of your implant. This connects the implant with your replacement teeth or a single tooth once your jawbone and implant bond. The dentist will then attach a single tooth, dentures or an implant-supported bridge to the abutment.
How Dental Implants Look?
If you’re missing a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants will help you get back your beautiful, natural-looking smile. Implants will:
• Look and feel like your natural teeth.
• Improve your overall appearance.
• Protect your healthy teeth and facial bones.
• Not interfere with smiling, eating or speaking.
Bone deterioration in your jaw and related tooth loss and can cause your face to slightly sink. Dental implants will help keep your facial structure and bone intact, taking away this sunken appearance and helping you feel and look your best.
They also help maintain the beauty and brightness of your smile. Plus, they don’t make oral hygiene complex since they function like real teeth.
How Dental Implants Function
When an experienced dentist or oral Implantologist places an implant, they function just like a real, natural tooth. They’re built to last a long time, making them a cost-effective, long-term solution. You don’t have to worry about the implant coming loose or falling out when you eat, talk or laugh.Since the dentist surgically places the posts in your lower or upper jaw, they act like a sturdy anchor for your replacement tooth or teeth. They don’t embarrass you when you’re talking because they don’t affect your speech, unlike dentures that make you struggle to pronounce simple words. Dental implants also assist in preventing the shrinkage of jawbones where your teeth are missing. Because of their attachment, they’re stable and secure, allowing you to chew and bite naturally.
Care of Dental Implants
Caring for dental implant-restored teeth, as mentioned earlier, is similar to caring for your natural teeth. You can:
• Brush your teeth.
• Use regular toothpaste.
• Get regular dental check-ups.
• Get regular dental cleanings.
The Lifespan of Dental Implants
For clinicians who are already using implants or are looking into providing this service to their patients, you may want to consider using implants constructed with bio-compatible titanium and titanium and ceramic abutments to provide your patients with better, high-quality oral products.Implants are semi-permanent and will require adjustments periodically. However, keeping them in good condition will help preserve their lifespan.
Pros of Dental Implants
1. It offers a secure bond thus no worries about slipping
2. Low maintenance
3. They look and function like any natural teeth
4. It is a long-lasting and often permanent solution
5. They preserve the bone
6. They prevent gum and bone deterioration
Cons of Dental Implants
1. They are more costly than dentures
2. Multiple steps including surgical procedures are required
3. Some patients require bone grafts prior to dental implants
Cost of Dental Implants
While there’s a lower initial cost for dentures than implants, dentures incur additional costs later on. Since implants are semi-permanent, they’re less expensive over the long run because there are no reoccurring additional costs like with dentures.