Injury, illness, and poor oral health lead to missing teeth for millions of Americans. Missing teeth make eating and speaking difficult, plus they can negatively impact your confidence. If you’re one of the millions of Americans missing teeth, you have two options to restore your smile – dentures and dental implants. What’s the difference between the two, and how do you know which one is best for you?
What You Need to Know About Dentures
Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth. You can get full dentures or partial dentures depending on your needs. All dentures are custom made for your mouth.
Full dentures replace all of your teeth. The upper denture covers the roof of your mouth, and the lower denture is horseshoe-shaped to give your tongue plenty of room.
There are two types of full dentures – immediate and conventional. If you don’t want to go without teeth while your mouth heals from having your teeth pulled, you can get immediate full dentures. Conventional dentures are ready several weeks later, which gives your mouth time to heal.
Partial dentures rest on a metal frame that attaches to your remaining teeth. While they do attach to your permanent teeth, partial dentures are still removable.
Dentures require daily care to remove debris and plaque buildup. You will need to keep them wet so they don’t dry out. Expect to follow up with your dentist to make sure they fit well and don’t need adjustments.
The Truth About Dental Implants
Dental implants are a game-changer for people missing teeth. Since dental implants fuse to your jawbone, they look, feel, and function like your real teeth. Natural-looking crowns attach to the implants to give you the appearance of real teeth.
There are two types of dental implants. The most common, endosteal implants, are implanted into the jawbone and then fitted with a post during a second surgery. Artificial teeth fit on these posts.
People lacking enough healthy bone to accommodate the implants can get subperiosteal implants. For these implants, a metal frame fits onto the jawbone beneath the gum tissue. Once the gums heal, posts are attached to the frame to hold the artificial teeth.
Should You Choose Dentures or Dental Implants?
Dentures are removable for easy cleaning, and they are less expensive than implants. You also don’t need surgery for dentures. However, while they look like your natural teeth, they never feel quite the same. It does take some time to get used to dentures, especially with eating and speaking.
Aside from looking and feeling more natural, dental implants stimulate bone growth to preserve your facial structure. You brush and floss them like natural teeth. However, dental implants are more expensive than dentures and require one or two invasive surgeries.
Choosing between dentures and dental implants is a personal decision. Speak with your dentist about your concerns. Your dentist can also give recommendations based on your situation to help you make the best choice.
If you’re interested in learning about your options with dentures and dental implants, we are here for you. Book an appointment online with the Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics office nearest you.