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.
Our smiles are the first things that other people see when they’re meeting us, so it’s important that we have ones that reflect who we are. When there’s something wrong with our smiles, especially if a tooth replacement is needed, it can be difficult to make a good first impression — particularly if the gaps in our smile make us self-conscious and less likely to show it off.
Luckily, there are many options for dental patients to choose from when it comes to replacing those missing teeth. You’ll soon find your smile restored — along with your confidence in it.
Why do I need a tooth replacement?
Tooth replacements can occur after a sudden accident that robs us of a tooth, or even after planned extractions.
Replacing a missing tooth can go much further than simply fixing a smile. You will likely also find your speech and chewing improved.
What options are available for a tooth replacement?
In general, there are three main options when it comes to replacing missing teeth:
Dental Implants – Implants are designed to be permanent, eventually fusing to your existing jaw bone and looking like the teeth you lost.
Bridges – Bridges can be permanent or removable, and use your remaining natural teeth to support the replacement tooth or teeth.
Dentures – Dentures are removable and are designed to mimic a full set of teeth. They are used when there are multiple natural teeth missing.
What should I be aware of when it comes to tooth replacements
Every tooth replacement has its pros and cons, so make sure you do your research before committing to one. The dental team at Lifetime Dental Health would be happy to answer your tooth replacement questions during your next appointment, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Dental implants are often an excellent option to permanently replace a missing tooth. If you are a good candidate for this procedure, it’s because you have good bone quality and volume, which is necessary for the implant to properly fuse. Implants can last many years with the proper maintenance, and their appearance is virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth. However, this procedure can take time to heal — up to several months — and can be pricey.
Bridges can be more affordable options than dental implants, and can come in a variety of forms. Some bridges are permanent, offering the convenience and security of a natural smile. Others are removable. However, it can be difficult to properly clean bridges, and they are not as sturdy or long-lasting as other tooth replacement options.
Dentures are the best option when it comes to replacing multiple teeth with a natural-looking smile. They remove for your comfort and ease of cleaning. However, dentures can slip and slide in your mouth, causing you potential discomfort and embarrassment or slurring of words while speaking.
How can Lifetime Dental Health help with replacing my tooth?
Lifetime Dental Health is proud to offer our patients a variety of different services when it comes to tooth replacements. Every member of our dental team wants to make sure you have a smile you’re comfortable with showing off.
Sometimes, a missing tooth can happen suddenly, necessitating a dental emergency. That’s why Lifetime Dental Health offers emergency dental services — including same-day appointments if possible. We know that losing a tooth in an accident can be painful and shocking, and we want to make sure that you’re feeling like yourself again as soon as possible. If you lose a tooth and are able to find it, call us right away. Avoid touching the root of the tooth. Store it safely in the original socket in your mouth or in a glass of milk and get yourself into the office as soon as possible so we can try to save it.
We are pleased to use the latest technology available for our dental patients when it comes to replacing a missing tooth — or several teeth. This includes traditional implants, bridges, dentures, and mini implants.
Our bridge options include the non-removable Zirconia Bridge, which entails up to 12 implants for a comfortable and permanent solution, and the Fix on Six Zirconia Bridge, a semi-removable option with as few as six implants.
Our acrylic dentures are great options for fixing a smile with multiple gaps and can be offered securely with as few as four implants. This helps achieve a sturdier and more secure fit for your removable dentures.
Mini implants are a cheaper alternative to traditional implants, which we also offer. However, mini implants can be fitted in just an hour, allowing you to get on with your busy schedule – while having the confidence to keep smiling. Mini implants are less invasive than their traditional counterparts and don’t take as long to heal. If you have a thin bone structure, this is the procedure for you, as mini implants utilize metal frameworks to anchor the tooth replacement.
If you are interested in learning more about your tooth replacement options, or getting an appointment scheduled, call us at Lifetime Dental Health today at (614) 333-9442.
Missing teeth are nothing to smile about. Not only does this compromise your appearance, but it can cause damage to the dental structure and potentially lead to an oral health hazard. There are numerous ways to replace missing teeth depending on the issue and severity, as well as your personal desires. Here are the common ways we work on your smile, restoring shape, structure, and self-esteem – Dental Implants, Dentures, Crowns, and Bridges.
Are dental implants the right choice for me?
Dental implants are strong, secure, and long lasting. They’re an excellent solution for missing, decayed, or otherwise damaged teeth. If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants are an option we will discuss during your visit. A dental implant is made of an artificial tooth root (biocompatible metals and bone-like ceramic) that is surgically placed into the jawbone and used to anchor a replacement tooth or bridge (more details on bridges below).
What are some of the advantages of dental implants?
Supports other dental work
No damage to healthy teeth
Helps preserve the bone
The patient can regain normal speech
Looks and feels like natural teeth
How are dental implants attached?
There are two basic ways to attach dental implants:
Directly attached to the jawbone like natural tooth roots. This process is recommended for patients with healthy jawbone quality.
Custom-designed metal frameworks anchored in place by mini dental implants. These are recommended for patients with thinner bone structure.
How long is the dental implant process and what can I expect?
The entire process can take several months until completion, but the remarkable results are well worth the wait. Under local anesthetic (numbing), we’ll surgically insert the artificial tooth root into your jawbone. Once the screws and posts are placed, the area must have time to heal as the roots fuse to the jawbone. This process can take up to six months, and the replacement teeth are fitted once you are fully healed.
How do I care for my dental implants?
As usual, brush and floss around the dental implant(s) at least two times per day, and be sure to keep up with your regular cleaning appointments.
Would dentures be an appropriate option to improve my smile?
Dentures are removable dental appliances most often made of acrylic resin or porcelain. You can replace lost teeth and see a more stunning smile with dentures. Today’s dentures are much different than the ones our grandparents wore. They are natural looking and fit well and comfortably. No need to panic! No one will know you’re wearing them.
What are some of the benefits of dentures?
Help maintain bone structure
Prevent sunken face and bone atrophy
Improve speech and eating
Create a more natural looking, healthier smile
Are there different types of dentures?
Dentures can be complete, partial, conventional, or immediate. Complete dentures are recommended when most or all of your teeth are missing. Partial dentures will fill spaces left by missing teeth and will prevent your remaining teeth from shifting to fill those spots. Conventional dentures are placed in the mouth approximately one month after tooth extraction, and immediate dentures are placed right after extraction.
What is the process for getting dentures like?
The entire process will take approximately one month (five appointments) from start to finish. The initial visit entails a discussion of your goals and we’ll create a personalized plan. After an evaluation, we will create a wax model of your teeth and gums that will be used to design the denture with a natural looking shape, fit, and matching tooth color. The final denture is placed in your mouth on the last visit. It may be necessary to get a new set of dentures with a better fit as time goes by and mouth/jaw/facial structure changes as you age. Take care of your dentures as instructed with a special toothbrush and other cleaning and maintenance essentials. Follow up with regular appointments.
What is a dental crown?
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps fitted over damaged areas of a tooth to restore full function and aesthetics. Crowns can be placed for functional or cosmetic reasons. Dental crowns are strong and secure and work like natural teeth. Lifetime Dental Health is pleased to use CEREC® Dental Crowns – same day restorations. Super advanced and quick, this option is something patients are excited about. In 20 minutes (sometimes less), a precise, durable, tooth-colored, metal-free crown is placed. That’s it! It’s amazing.
What are the benefits of CEREC®?
No wait period – same day service
Strong and durable
What are bridges?
Bridges are permanent or removable dental restoration appliances that replace missing teeth with artificial ones. This “bridge” between gaps and spaces, there is vast improvement in functionality and appearance. Both fixed and removable bridges rely on the surrounding teeth for support, and often a crown is placed over these “anchor” teeth, but fixed bridges are more stable overall than the removable style.
What are they made of?
Bridges can be made of gold, alloys, porcelain, or any combination of these three durable materials.
Replacing your teeth is something you should discuss with Dr. Barry or Dr. Love. Not only will your smile benefit from the work, but your mouth will work better. Let’s figure out the best plan for you and get your smile corrected, leading to more confidence and full functionality.