Dental Implants Versus Dentures
Missing teeth, whether they were extracted or have fallen out due to deterioration or gum disease, are both a cosmetic and functional concern. Your smile is often one of your most confidence-enhancing features; that is, unless you have missing or damaged teeth. In that case, your smile is something that you may feel you need to hide. There is no need for you to suffer the embarrassment of missing or damaged teeth. Dental implants and dentures are available to restore a patient’s smile to one that they will be proud to show off. But, which option is better: dental implants or dentures? In essence, they achieve the same thing: the restoration of a smile to provide both aesthetic beauty and increased functionality. However, these options address dental issues in different ways, and you may find that dental implants are the better option for you.
What Is the Difference?
Dentures are a removable set of teeth that adhere to your gums. They are put in every morning and taken out every night. Dentures can either be partial (only a few teeth) or full (the entire upper or lower half of your teeth). While this option is generally cheaper and does provide the look of healthy teeth, it isn’t necessarily the better choice. Dentures may have the look of natural teeth, but they don’t provide the same comfort or functionality. Dentures can shift during the day, food particles can get caught underneath them and irritate the gums, and you will occasionally have to see yourself without them. Speech and the way food tastes are also affected as the palate is covered with a denture. This can create additional confidence and insecurity issues.
Dental implants, on the other hand, do not involve the same concerns as dentures. Implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth and can be inserted in place of one tooth, multiple teeth, or a full upper or lower set. Titanium cylinders or screws are attached to the jawbone. Once the bone heals, implant crowns are fabricated. Implant crowns look and feel just like your natural teeth. They allow for complete functionality and comfort. You can eat whatever you want without fear, and because they are permanent, you will never have to see yourself without them. These life-like restorations restore a healthy-looking smile, tooth functionality, and increased confidence.
All-on-4 is a type of implant designed for patients who might otherwise be candidates for dentures. These patients require the replacement of the majority of their teeth on either the upper or lower jaw. This treatment allows for a full dental bridge containing all of your new teeth to be attached using only four dental implants, instead of one implant per tooth. This treatment is not only less expensive than individual implants, but it also provides faster treatment and recovery time, as well as immediate results.
Maintaining Your Implants
Dental implants should be maintained the same way your natural teeth are. With implants, whether you have a single tooth or an all-on-4 implant, good at-home oral care is essential. This includes:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing at least once a day
- Wearing a night guard to prevent grinding
- Visiting your dentist at least four times per year
With proper oral hygiene, your dental implants will be long lasting and an investment that you will be happy you made. A healthy, functional smile is everything: it enhances self-esteem, eases eating and speaking, and allows you to feel like your best self.
To learn more about dental implants or to set up a consultation, contact Dr. Benjamin Fiss at (312) 951-5230.