When it comes to finding solutions for dental health issues, knowing what will work best for you personally and for your lifestyle is key to making the right decision. Two such solutions to choose from include dentures and dental implants. Patients today are living successfully with either of these, and you can too.
To better help you determine which may be right for you or a family member, here are tips on what it’s like to live with dentures and to live with dental implants.
What It’s Like to Live With Dentures
Thanks to ongoing improvements and advancing technology, dentures have become more comfortable than ever before. Patients today can feel completely normal while wearing them and worry less about the possibility of slippage while eating or talking.
If you are considering dentures or are already in the fitting process, it helps to understand how they will affect your lifestyle. Whether you have partial or full dentures, how you wear, use, and care for them will be much the same.
After your final fitting, it will take a little while to get used to the feel of the dentures in your mouth. A good fit prevents any pain or discomfort, so if you feel either of these, let your dentist know immediately.
Allow yourself the time you need to get used to wearing the dentures. Initially, you may experience a lisp as you talk, but in time, you can train your mouth muscles to adjust to the new dental appliance. Practice reading out loud and identify those words that are difficult to pronounce. Say those words over and over again until it feels natural.
As for chewing food with dentures, you will most likely need time to adjust to how this feels. When drinking, try using a straw until you feel more comfortable.
Dentures can slip, particularly if you make sudden movements, such as when you laugh, smile, or sneeze. If you do feel a slip, bite down gently and swallow. In some instances, your dentist will recommend using an adhesive to help keep your dentures in place.
Living with dentures also requires the following:
Avoid allowing dentures to dry out.
Whenever you remove your dentures, such as at night as you sleep, always place them in a cup of water or dental cleaning solution. Dentures are like natural teeth in that they need moisture to keep from drying out, which can potentially lead to fracturing, cracking, or warping.
Take daily care of your dentures
Care for your dentures involves brushing at least twice a day to remove bacteria-causing plaque, which can lead to halitosis, or bad breath. You also want to gently brush your gums. Your dentures sit atop your gums, so caring for them is essential. Removing dentures at night also lets the gums rest.
Schedule bi-annual dental appointments
Living with dentures requires you to remain diligent in their care and the surrounding tissues in your mouth. For this, be sure to schedule bi-annual dentist appointments. In addition to a thorough cleaning, your dentist will conduct an exam of the dentures and your gum health, as well as check that the fit is still correct.
What It’s Like to Live With Dental Implants
Dental implants are another solution for dental issues and essentially function, look, and feel like your natural teeth. These implants are prosthetic devices that create an anchor to the jawbone, followed by the fitting of an artificial crown. You can choose dental implants to replace several teeth or just one, depending on your particular needs.
They do require a surgical procedure, after which you will need time to heal. Once this healing occurs, however, you can return to normal activities and also reintroduce your normal foods back into your diet. While the crowns are not as strong as your natural teeth, they are highly durable, and you can eat normally without worry.
In addition, dental implants help improve your speech, and you won’t need to worry about them shifting since they are anchored in place.
As for the care of dental implants, you’ll be able to treat them much like your natural teeth. That means brushing twice daily, flossing, and scheduling bi-annual dental cleanings and exams.
While you will need to make more lifestyle adjustments with dentures than dental implants, both offer a solution for your oral health needs. Talk with your dentist to determine which is right for your particular circumstances.
Contact Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus to Learn More
When it comes to optimal oral hygiene and health, Dr. Richard Barry and his team at Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus can provide the information you need to make the best decisions for you and your family. To learn more about dental implants or dentures, or any other dental option, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
When it comes to your smile, your dental health plays a crucial role. One or more problems or missing teeth can cause you to hide that smile as well as cause other issues in your day-to-day life. It may be time, then, to consider your options, and two of these are dental implants and dentures.
Knowing how these two options differ and how you can benefit from either one is essential to making the best decision for you personally. This is where your trusted dentist here at Lifetime Dental Health can help explain the differences and help you find the right solution. To get started, though, here is what you need to know.
What are the Main Differences Between Dental Implants and Dentures?
Knowing the differences between dental implants and dentures will help give you further insight into which will work better with your lifestyle and particular needs. Each has its advantages but also some disadvantages. Weigh each of these pros and cons with your dentist, and choose the one that benefits you the most.
Dental implants are permanent, long-lasting replacements for missing teeth and require regular maintenance similar to your natural teeth. They are also strong, providing you with confidence when eating the foods you love.
The procedure for dental implants is highly involved, however, and will take some time to complete. Your dentist will start by creating a synthetic anchor in your jawbone to act as the root of a natural tooth. From there, a crown-type tooth or bridge is attached, with the final result looking and feeling much like a natural tooth.
Dentures are removable teeth replacements, usually made from either porcelain or acrylic resin. They can be complete or partial replacements, depending on your particular needs. Made to resemble your natural teeth and gums, you will have to add an adhesive to hold them in place.
The procedure for dentures also takes time. First, your dentist takes impressions of your lower or upper gums, or both if needed. Next, your overall bite and alignment will be analyzed to help in correcting the denture length to allow you to eat normally and also not interfere with speech. The dental lab will then create a preliminary denture for you to try and for your dentist to observe for alignment or length adjustments. From there, your final dentures will be crafted and provided.
Once you receive the final dentures, your dentist will go over how to use an adhesive and how to care for them. Occasionally, you may need to be fitted for new dentures as your bite changes throughout your life. Common complaints about dentures include sores on the gums and the dentures slipping and not staying in place.
If you’re not sure if either of these options is for you, discuss with your dentist the newer possibility of hybrid versions known as implant-supported overdentures.
What Factors Do I Need to Know When Choosing Between Implants and Dentures?
Choosing between dental implants and dentures involves the consideration of several factors, such as bone structure and density, number of missing teeth, age, and lifestyle.
Bone Structure and Density
Your bone structure and density are factors that may eliminate one choice over the other for you, depending on your particular circumstances. To be a candidate for dental implants, your jawbone must be able to support the necessary posts. Unfortunately, bone loss often occurs due to age, injury, gum disease, or the very tooth loss you are attempting to correct.
In addition, the structure of your jaw may shift eventually. This happens when the nearby teeth try to compensate for the missing tooth and try to shift over to fill the open space. This leads to instability in your mouth structure and can lead to more tooth loss or decay.
Your dentist will evaluate you for all of this and determine if implants are even an option for you. In many instances, you can choose a bone grafting procedure to bolster the density of the jawbone. However, this will involve several visits, higher costs, and be a more invasive type of surgery.
Once chosen, dental implants or dentures can help maintain and preserve your bone structure going forward.
Number of Missing or Damaged Teeth
Much will depend on the number of missing teeth and the overall health of the surrounding ones. Cost can be a significant factor here as well. If you need more than one tooth, the expenses will naturally be higher. At a certain point, a partial or full denture may be a better option for you financially than a set of dental implants.
Dental implants require a more invasive, time-consuming process. Such a process takes considerable time to heal, and as you grow older, this may take even longer. Older adults often find that dentures are a more acceptable and beneficial choice. Younger adults, considering a lifetime of needing their teeth to eat, smile, and talk, often lean more towards dental implants.
When choosing between dental implants and dentures, it is essential that you consider your lifestyle. Practicing good oral hygiene is necessary to maintain your teeth, and either of these can add to that. Dental implants require similar brushing and flossing as your natural teeth. Dentures, on the other hand, require continuous special care and cleaning.
Ask yourself how ready you are to take on this extra task and keep your dentures in good shape. The use of adhesive is necessary, especially if you enjoy such activities as swimming or playing football with friends. Be honest when it comes to what you are willing to do as far as oral hygiene is concerned.
Why Should I Replace Missing Teeth?
Whether to replace your missing teeth or not is an individual decision. Every circumstance is different, and your decisions are your own. Consider the following reasons and benefits to replacing one or more missing teeth.
To protect and maintain bone structure and the jaw
Support for your facial muscles
Maintain or improve your speech
Increase your ability to eat normally and chew foods better
Boost confidence in your smile
Avoid the additional risk of bacteria and food sticking in areas of missing teeth, potentially leading to infections and gum disease
Replacing missing or damaged teeth is an important decision, so discuss your options with your dentist, so you’ll be ready to take this next step.
Schedule an Appointment with Lifetime Dental Health Today
If you’ve experienced tooth loss, you’re not alone. Many people experience this type of loss, either as young adults or as they grow older. You can trust the compassionate staff with Lifetime Dental Health here in Columbus, Ohio to help. We provide thorough information to help you make your choice and stay with you throughout the entire process and beyond. Call us today at 614-321-1887 to get started.
Dental hygiene is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of our overall health. Nearly 180 million Americans are missing one tooth, and an estimated 40 million are missing all of their teeth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. There are many things to be done for damaged or missing teeth, including dental implants. Below you will learn more about what could prevent you from getting a dental implant.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant acts as an orthodontic anchor and is made of titanium that connects to the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthetic, such as a denture, bridge, or crown.
The process in which the titanium implant forms a bond to the bone is called osseointegration. The dental implant is placed first, allowing a moderate amount of time for healing and osseointegration to occur before a prosthetic is added.
What Disqualifies Me as a Candidate for a Dental Implant?
Dental implants require a certain level of health to be maintained by the recipient. Patients are often told they are not a candidate for dental implants for several reasons such as:
Smoking increases a patient’s risk of dental implant failure. If a patient is a smoker, their dental professional will often give them a time frame that they will need to stop smoking to be considered for a dental implant.
Gum disease often goes untreated for long periods, destroying our healthy gingiva, the tooth itself, and even the bone. Gum disease must be successfully treated before a dentist considering approving a dental implant
Poor overall health
Receiving one or more dental implants is considered a surgical procedure requiring incisions and sutures. If you as a patient are not healthy enough to undergo an operation, you may be denied the procedure.
Diabetes not only affects the blood sugar of a patient, but it is a systemic disease affecting essentially all parts of the human body. A patient with diabetes must receive treatment to get their diabetes under control before they are deemed safe to receive a dental implant.
A patient currently receiving, or who has recently received, radiation therapy near the face or neck may be denied dental implant surgery due to an increased risk to the patient.
Medications, such as blood thinners or steroids, increase the patient’s risk during a dental implant procedure deeming it unsafe for the patient. A dentist may recommend the patient stop taking their current medications, if approved by their primary care physician, for a certain length of time before being approved for a dental implant.
Surgery is not recommended in pregnant females unless medically necessary. It is recommended to wait until after pregnancy to receive a dental implant.
Low bone density
Many dentists will not perform dental implants if they do not believe there is enough bone for the implant to attach to. Low bone density is the number one reason that patients are denied dental implant surgery. The dental implant must osseointegrate to the bone before a prosthetic being placed, however, when there is not enough bone density available within your jaw the implant cannot attach securely.
Rather than approve you for a surgery that is not medically safe for you, or that is beyond the skill level of the dentist of choice, they will often deem you a bad candidate. You may seek out a second opinion from a more highly trained professional.
A highly skilled, and properly trained dentist may recommend a bone graft to be considered a candidate for a dental implant. A bone graft replaces missing bone in your jaw with bone tissue from either the chin, hip, or shin, to allow new bone to grow.
A bone graft, depending on the severity, requires several weeks of healing prior to the start of a dental implant procedure. As a bone graft patient, you may require several appointments to ensure proper bone density once a graft is completed before being approved to receive a dental implant. Again, the implant may take several weeks to heal before receiving the prosthetic whether that be a crown, bridge, implant, or anchor for your orthodontic treatment.
Young patients, whose bones have not fully developed, are considered at risk for a dental implant. A dentist will not perform a dental implant procedure on a patient whose jaw is still growing. You must be an adult with a fully developed bone structure.
Considerations for a Dental Implant
To be considered for a dental implant procedure, there are many things your dentist will take into consideration. First and foremost, you must be missing one or more teeth. Your dentist will require that you not smoke or drink for a set number of days or weeks prior to the procedure to ensure there is no risk associated.
Your dentist will evaluate your bone density to ensure your jaw bone is a strong candidate to take on and be able to hold the implant securely in place. Overall, a good candidate for a dental implant is overall healthy, an adult, and has good bone density.
“Let a smile be your umbrella.” “Smile and the world smiles with you.” We’ve all heard these well-known statements many times. And we know many things can make us smile: a newborn baby, a sunny day, a special memory. Smiles usually come naturally. But what if seeing your own smile doesn’t make you smile because it isn’t as attractive as you’d like it to be? Lifetime Dental Health can help, with two procedures designed to turn a so-so smile into a so nice one: bonding and veneers.
What’s the Difference Between Veneers and Bonding?
Dental veneers and dental bonding can both cover your chipped, cracked, or broken teeth so well that no one (except you and us) will know they aren’t your natural teeth. However, though they are designed to solve the same problems, differences between veneers and bonding may make one or the other more appropriate for your situation.
Bonding is simpler and less involved than a veneer. And it doesn’t change your tooth. Bonding uses dental resin to build directly upon the damaged or discolored tooth. Depending on the level of damage, it can fill in gaps between teeth, hide roots revealed by receding gums, or build up a broken tooth. We apply the resin (color-matched to your natural teeth) directly to the surface of a problem tooth and harden it using a special dental light. Once it’s hardened, we file it smooth, and shape it to blend with the shape of your other teeth.
A veneer is a piece of extremely thin porcelain shaped to cover the front of a damaged, misshapen, or discolored tooth. Like bonding resin, the porcelain is colored to match your natural teeth. Unlike bonding, a veneer involves an outside dental lab for its preparation and, most often, two or more dental appointments. In the first visit, we reshape your tooth and make an impression of it for the dental lab. In the second, we apply the veneer to your tooth with safe dental cement. To get a perfect fit, we may need to remove and adjust the veneer several times before it is set. Though more involved than bonding, a veneer can last for as long as 15 years.
What Are the 5 Most Important Factors to Consider Before Choosing?
Neither bonding nor veneers are right for every damaged tooth. And even for good candidates, bonding and veneers are not equally appropriate. Let’s look at 5 factors you’ll want to consider in making your choice:
Looks. Since the goal is a more appealing smile, the look of the result is an important consideration. Both procedures provide “new” teeth that look like – and react like – the rest. Over time, bonding is prone to staining and may need to be redone for best effect. Porcelain is virtually stainless, so If your teeth are significantly stained or discolored, a veneer will work better than bonding. As for chips, cracks, or breaks, bonding can be redone if need be; If a veneer cracks, the only fix is a crown.
Durability/Longevity. Whichever choice you make, you’ll want it to last as long as possible, and that’s dependent upon the material used. Bonding material is a dental resin brushed onto a tooth. That’s why you only need one dental visit, and why, if it chips or discolors, it can be readily repaired. Veneers are made of porcelain, and they are customized to your tooth. Veneers cannot be repaired.
Time. Bonding comes out ahead when it comes to time, as it can usually be done in a single dental visit. Veneers always require two visits, and sometimes three. To cure a painful tooth, or up your smile for a special occasion, a one-stop procedure could be the better call.
Cost. It’s no surprise that bonding is less expensive than veneers. Veneers require the skills and equipment of a dental lab in addition to that of a dentist. However, the difference lessens as the amount of work involved increases. For one or two teeth, bonding may be just what you want. However, the more teeth you have that need repair, the smaller the difference. Be sure to compare costs based on your actual situation, as in some cases veneers may be worth the extra bit more.
Maintenance. When it comes to daily care, veneers and bonding are equal, and a good dental hygiene routine, plus regular professional check-ups and cleanings, is crucial. Both bonded teeth and those with a veneer, need daily brushing and flossing just like your natural teeth. And like natural teeth, to keep them from chipping, cracking, or staining, it’s best to avoid hard food, such as hard candy, nuts, and crunchy snacks; dark beverages, such as red wine, dark fruit juices, and colas; chewing ice; and using tobacco.
This is a lot to think about regarding bonding and veneers, so you’ll want to be sure to start with a consultation to help you decide which procedure would be best for you. You can contact us or make an appointment online. Our dentists are always available to help you make a choice you’ll be happy with.
Cavities in your teeth can be painful. A crooked tooth can make your smile less than perfect. And stained or discolored teeth can be embarrassing. Still, these dental situations are just annoyances compared to the loss of a tooth, or worse yet, several teeth. According to the American Dental Association, the average adult between 20 and 64 years of age has at least three decayed or missing teeth.
Missing teeth can change how you speak, make it difficult to eat, allow other teeth to get out of place, and even lead to tooth decay and additional tooth loss. That’s why replacing missing teeth is one of the most important dental corrections you can make to keep your teeth — in fact, your whole body — healthy. And one of the best ways to replace missing teeth is with a dental bridge.
What is a Dental Bridge?
A common way to connect two things — ideas, cultures, musical genres — is described as “bridging the gap.” It’s an idiom with a meaning that seems crystal clear. And one that applies perfectly to a common means of replacing missing teeth: a dental bridge. A dental bridge is just that — a device that bridges the gap between two (or more) missing teeth, by inserting the same number of artificial teeth (called “pontic teeth”) into the gap and connecting them to natural teeth (called “abutment teeth”). Dental bridges have been used regularly since the early 1900s and were by far the preferred way to replace teeth for decades. Today, four basic styles of dental bridges are available and affordable.
These are the most common type of dental bridge because, usually, if you lose a tooth or teeth you still have natural teeth on both sides of the gap. A traditional bridge uses these natural teeth to hold the “bridge” that replaces the missing teeth. The natural teeth are crowned, and the bridge is placed between them. It is then secured by cement to the crowns on the natural teeth. Most often made of porcelain fused to a metal base, these bridges are strong enough to withstand the force from chewing or biting, and therefore can be used to replace molars
This type of bridge is basically a specialized version of a traditional bridge that is used when only one side of the gap is next to a natural tooth. The bridge is attached to the single natural tooth in the same way as in a traditional bridge — cemented to a crown — but only on one end. Less stable than a bridge with two abutment teeth, these bridges are not sturdy enough to be used in the back of the mouth, where the force of chewing and biting could damage them
Also called a resin-bonded bridge, this is an adaptation of a traditional bridge, and is made of porcelain fused to metal, porcelain alone, or plastic supported by metal. Often preferred for replacing teeth in the front of the mouth, these bridges do not require that your natural teeth be crowned. Instead, they receive their support from metal or porcelain “wings” that are cemented to the backs of the adjacent teeth. Because of this, a Maryland bridge is only as strong as the bonding cement it’s attached with and, like the cantilever bridge, is not recommended to replace molars.
Considered the strongest, most stable bridge of the four types, an implant-supported bridge is just what the name implies: a bridge supported by implants installed in the jawbone. These bridges usually require a minimum of two surgeries, one to install the implants (each missing tooth is replaced with an individual implant) and one to place the bridge. In cases where an implant isn’t possible for a missing tooth, a pontic tooth is used instead and suspended between two implant-supported crowns. Due to the healing process after an implant, it can take several months for an implant-supported bridge procedure to be completed.
What Are The Benefits of a Dental Bridge?
Over and above simply filling an unsightly gap in your smile, there are a number of advantages to replacing missing teeth with a professional dental bridge. A bridge can keep the teeth surrounding the hole from shifting around, maintain your natural bite so you eat normally, and provide the same structure your lost teeth did to support your speech. It also makes it easier to manage a thorough and effective oral hygiene routine and leaves your mouth feeling as natural and as comfortable as it was before.
Dental bridges are usually rather small and lightweight, and ordinarily, getting used to a dental bridge is easy. They help you look like you did before tooth loss, by maintaining the natural shape of your face and, because of the availability of modern materials, they look the same in color and shape as your remaining natural teeth.
Caring for Dental Bridges
Of course, like your natural teeth, a dental bridge needs care and attention. It’s vital that all your natural teeth stay healthy and strong. The success of any dental bridge is dependent on what it’s attached to, be it implants, crowns, or natural teeth, so preventing problems, particularly in the abutment teeth, is critical.
Most dental bridges last at least five to seven years. But with good oral hygiene — flossing and brushing daily and getting regular professional dental cleanings and checkups — they can last ten years or longer. At Lifetime Dental Health, we can show you how to effectively care for your bridge and advise you on what foods are likely to cause problems.
Don’t go through life with missing teeth. It can compromise the teeth you still have, encouraging tooth decay, contributing to gum disease, and even causing the loss of more teeth. We can help! Whether you’ve lost a single tooth or several, contact us for a free consultation and learn how quickly you can enjoy a full set of teeth again.
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