Missing teeth can negatively impact your oral health, mental health, and overall well-being. It’s a condition that has severe physical and psychological consequences for patients. To make matters worse, if you don’t resolve the issue, missing teeth can lead to jawbone loss and even changes to the structure of the face. In order to prevent short-term suffering and long-term damage, it’s essential to correct the issue as quickly as possible.
The good news is there are many options and treatments available for patients suffering from tooth loss. Dentures and dental implants are two of the most common solutions and both have been around for decades. While these two options solve the same problem, there are significant differences and each has its own set of advantages and health benefits.
It can be difficult to know whether dentures or dental implants are right for you. To help make the decision easier, we’ll review the health benefits of both below:
What Are The Benefits Of Dentures?
Dentures are sets of artificial teeth and gums that are uniquely designed to fit your mouth. You can get full dentures that replace an entire row of top or bottom teeth, or partial dentures that just replace a smaller section of a few missing teeth. Dentures are designed to match your existing teeth, so at first glance, they blend in pretty well. The “gum” component of dentures is made to fit snugly over the gum line, and they’re able to be easily removed and cleaned. Dentures should fit comfortably, and while they don’t feel exactly like real teeth, they can still restore basic oral functions.
If you decide dentures are right for you, the process is fairly simple. Your dentist will take impressions of your mouth and use them to create denture models that fit comfortably. Then, you’ll have the opportunity to try a wax replica of the denture set before the final version is designed. The final version will be constructed from a hard resin material, and you’ll return to the office for a final fitting. From start to finish, the whole process takes a month or two.
Some of the health benefits of dentures include:
- They’re Easy To Clean – Dentures actually make oral hygiene easy. Since they’re removable, they’re easy to clean, and you don’t have to worry about food and debris getting stuck between your teeth and gums. Removing and cleaning dentures also helps prevent infections and gum disease.
- Improved Appearance – Dentures aren’t real teeth, but they can still restore your smile and give you confidence, which can improve your mental health and emotional well-being.
- They Can Improve Your Speech – Missing teeth can impact your pronunciation, but dentures can restore your speech and improve your ability to confidently communicate.
- They Can Slow Down Bone Deterioration – Following tooth loss, dentures can add much-needed stimulation to your jaw, which can help prevent bone loss or deterioration.
While dentures have many benefits, they’re not without their downsides. They’re unable to be worn at night. Some patients find that they slip or are uncomfortable, which is usually the case if they don’t fit properly. They’re made out of a hard resin material, which isn’t as strong as real teeth and therefore, they can be damaged when eating hard foods. Lastly, while dentures can slow down bone loss, they don’t always prevent it entirely.
What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implants?
Dental Implants are highly regarded as the best solution for missing teeth. Similar to dentures, dental implants are artificial teeth; however, unlike dentures, they’re permanent and secured directly to the jawbone. A dental implant consists of a titanium base that is connected to the jaw, an abutment that sits on top of the base, and a crown that is secured to the abutment.
Some of the main benefits of dental implants include:
- They Look Fantastic – Dental implants are designed to look exactly like real teeth. In fact, many people can’t tell the difference. Therefore, patients with dental implants enjoy a restored smile and renewed confidence.
- They Make Eating A Lot Easier – Implants not only look like real teeth, but they also feel like real teeth. They restore a patient’s normal bite so much that many people forget they’re even there. You will benefit from improved biting and chewing abilities. Plus, no foods are off-limits!
- They Last A Long Time – When properly cared for, dental implants can last decades or even a lifetime. Once they’re set, they’re in for good and patients shouldn’t have to worry about additional procedures. Implants are also very durable.
- They Can Prevent Jaw Deterioration – Dental implants offer the same degree of jaw stimulation as actual teeth, which can prevent bone loss altogether.
- They’re No Hassle – Dental implants don’t need to be removed and cleaned every night. Rather, regular brushing and flossing is all that’s needed to keep them in good shape.
Dental implants are placed over a series of appointments spread across several weeks. First, your periodontist will make sure your jaw is strong enough to support the implants, and if it isn’t, a bone graft may be necessary. Once your jaw has enough density, the process can begin. Surgery is required in order to secure the titanium base to the jaw, and therefore, several weeks or months of recovery time is necessary before connecting the abutment and crown.
When it comes to functionality, implants have a few downsides. However, they are a large investment and do require surgery and healing time in-between appointments. The entire process can often take many months. However, for many patients, the lengthy process is well worth the joy of having fully restored bite and speech.
While both dentures and dental implants are viable solutions for missing teeth, dental implants offer far more advantages and health benefits. Implants are more comfortable, durable, and they look a lot better than dentures. Plus, they can last a lifetime.
Ready to explore dental implants? Contact Dr. Stuart Beauchamp at Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry. We’re one of Central Florida’s leading providers of implants, and we’d be happy to help restore your bite.