Dentures or Dental Implants?
If you have been living with missing teeth, you might be ready to meet with your dentist and talk about your dental replacement options. However, if you are like most people, you might wonder what kinds of benefits modern dental implants have over traditional dentures. Also, because dental implants cost significantly more, you might feel like dentures are the better option. However, there are some very compelling reasons that you should consider investing in dental implants.
Benefits of Dental Implants Over Dentures
One of the most common reasons people prefer dental implants instead of dentures is because of the incredibly natural, streamlined appearance implants provide. Because dental implants are customized for each patient and physically anchored into your gum line and jaw, they are almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Also, dental implants can be implanted independent from other teeth, which means you won’t have to worry about unsightly brackets, plastics, or wires giving away your dental repair secrets.
The stimulation that your jawbone receives when you talk, eat, and chew with your natural teeth keeps your bone strong and healthy. Unfortunately, when you have missing teeth, your jawbone can resorb. In fact, your jawbone can lose as much as 20% of its height within the first year of missing a tooth. This melting away of your jaw can make it difficult to have dental implants placed in the future, and it can even change your face shape—causing your upper or lower face to cave in slightly, because the jawbone isn’t there to support it. Although dentures provide a small level of stimulation, they don’t provide as much stimulation as dental implants, which are anchored into the jaw. However, dental implants have been proven to keep your jawbone healthy, strong, and evenly shaped.
Protect Your Healthy Teeth
Another downside of dentures is that your healthy teeth are commonly used as supports. For example, traditional partial bridges use crowns placed on either side of the missing area to support the false tooth, and bonded resin bridges rely exclusively on the strength of a neighboring tooth to provide support for a denture. This added strain can damage the surrounding teeth, leaving you with more dental problems in the future. However, because dental implants rely on their own structure and support system, you can avoid this problem and keep your remaining healthy teeth strong.
With dental implants, you won’t have to worry about dentures falling out, slipping, or collecting stinky pockets of food particles. Because dental implants function just like your natural teeth, they are nearly unnoticeable—and comfortable to wear. In fact, patients who have dental implants commonly report that they forget that their teeth are false, because they require the exact same care as their natural teeth.
Because dentures have to be removed, cleaned, and properly stored, they don’t last as long as dental implants. In fact, while dentures might need to be replaced every five to seven years, dental implants can act as a permanent solution. In fact, research has shown that dental implants can last as long as 25 years or more if they are properly cared for.
Dental implants also have an incredibly high success rate, which means you won’t have to worry about them breaking, failing, or your tissues rejecting the foreign materials. Studies have shown that implants in grafted tissue have a success rate of around 85% to 90%, and as high as 95% in natural tissue. On the other hand, everyone responds differently to wearing dentures. Some patients report no problems with their dentures and wear them daily, while others have issues like mouth sores, slipping teeth, and constant discomfort.