Tooth loss may not be something that we talk about, but it is more common than you probably expect. Research has found that as many as 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, and 36 million do not have any teeth whatsoever. These numbers are expected to grow over the coming decade meaning that tooth replacement solutions are more necessary and important than ever before.
If you are missing some teeth, you have almost certainly noticed some negative effects of their loss. You may have had to change the way that you bite and chew your food, and potentially even how you form some sounds. You may have also lost confidence in the appearance of your teeth and do everything that you can to hide them from view. This could mean smiling with your mouth closed, not eating in public and even covering your mouth with your hand when you talk.
Fortunately, you will be pleased to know that living with tooth loss is completely unnecessary. There are solutions that can restore both the function and appearance of your teeth and give you back a smile that you feel confident in sharing! Two of the most effective and popular tooth replacement solutions are dental implants and dentures. Which should you get? Here’s what you need to know about both to help you make this important decision.
Dental implants have a completely unique design comprised of two key components. These are:
Dental implants rely on the natural healing process to be successful. When the titanium post is implanted into the jaw, the disruption to the bone to place it prompts it to heal around the post, encasing it permanently in the jaw. This process, called osseointegration, takes several months, during which time patients are fitted with a generic, temporary crown instead. The placement of the implant post is important because it is only this element of the design that secures the visible part of the dental implant to your mouth and keeps it in place. In this way, the post actually replicates the role of a natural tooth root.
The crown that is fitted is connected to the implant post using a special connector called an abutment. Once fully established, the dental implant is actually a permanent and long-lasting way to replace your missing teeth.
Dental implants offer patients a wide variety of benefits. Some of the most significant include the following:
Many people are already familiar with the design of dentures, which varies a little depending on whether your device is for your upper or lower jaw. Both comprise an arch of prosthetic teeth that are designed to resemble your natural teeth for as long as possible. The arch for the upper teeth also contains a plate that sits across the roof of your mouth and helps to secure the device in place whilst you eat, talk, laugh, etc. The prosthetic teeth for the lower teeth are created in a horseshoe-shaped arch with no middle plate since the tongue needs to be left free to move around. Once placed over your gums, the denture is secured in place using a special adhesive.
When people think of dentures, they tend to think of the very unnatural styles that their grandparents once wore. Fortunately, the design of modern dentures has evolved dramatically and today, they are more realistic and more comfortable than ever before.
There are a number of reasons why many patients love and prefer wearing dentures. These include:
If you would like more information about either of these tooth replacement options or if you’d like to schedule an appointment to discuss them with our team to see which is the most viable solution for you, please contact our offices.