Whether you recently lost a tooth or you’re diagnosed with tooth loss, the solution you choose will have real and lasting implications. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that they have a choice with either dental implants or dentures.
If you lose your teeth, you will most likely have to put up with an altered facial appearance or poor chewing and speaking patterns. Implants and dentures correct such issues by installing one or more prosthetic teeth into your mouth to replace missing ones.
While each type of prosthetic can be beneficial, you should identify the treatment that addresses your needs. This article compares both solutions to help you better understand your options.
The first visit for the dental implant process is a consultation. During the consultation, your dentist performs a comprehensive oral examination to determine if you’re a good candidate. The dentist will also diagnose oral health issues and offer solutions before treatment begins.
During the second visit, your dentist will place the implant inside the upper or lower jawbone. After a healing period of between 3-6 months, the implant fuses to the bone; your dentist will then attach an abutment and crown.
On the other hand, the first visit for dentures is a consultation to evaluate your need for dentures. Once your dentist has decided that dentures are right for you, the denture procedure begins with your dentist taking an impression of your gums. Dental professionals use the impression to make a plaster mold of your jaw.
Your dentist will then send the mold to a lab to make the actual dentures to the specifications of the teeth mold. Once the dentures are complete, your next visit will be fitting them to ensure they fit without issue. If necessary, the dentist can adjust the dentures during this appointment.
If you have had all your teeth removed, your dentist can give you a temporary denture to wear until your permanent denture is ready.
Dental implants don’t require extensive maintenance. Maintenance of your dental implant involves keeping good oral hygiene habits. Brush and floss at least once daily. Brushing and flossing prevent bacteria from accumulating between your teeth and forming plaque which causes decay and gum disease.
Brush your dentures daily with a soft bristle toothbrush and denture cleaner after each meal to remove food particles and plaque. If you do have any remaining natural teeth, be sure to brush and floss them if possible.
Additionally, while your dentures are out overnight, don’t let them dry out. Soak the dentures in water or a mild denture-soaking solution that your dentist will be able to recommend. Avoid soaking dentures in hot water, as it can cause warping.
You need to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings with both implants and dentures.
Function and Feel
A dental implant feels and functions like a natural tooth. You can eat without worry and speak clearly without experiencing clicking or discomfort in your mouth. A dental implant can also prevent bone deterioration if teeth are missing, thus preserving your facial structure.
With dentures, you can have them made to look as close to your natural teeth as possible. The dentures can also provide support for your lips and cheek muscles, therefore preventing your lips and cheeks from sinking. You will be able to chew more effectively, speak more clearly, and feel more confident with dentures.
As you get used to having dentures in your mouth, they may feel strange for a few weeks. You will also need some time to get used to eating and speaking.
Whether you choose implants or dentures, each solution is a viable option for patients who have lost some teeth. Both implants and dentures are cost-effective and significantly improve your quality of life. The real question is what solution might meet your specific needs. Therefore, make sure you do your research and consult a trusted professional before making any decision.
Contact us today to schedule your next dentist visit.