Tooth loss is a surprisingly common issue among both younger and older people throughout the United States and around the world. If you’ve experienced tooth loss, you are likely faced with the difficult choice of dental implants vs dentures.
Both of these options are available for patients in Knoxville, Tennessee, and both have their pros and cons.
What are Dental Implants and Dentures?
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that are inserted directly into the jaw. Once the replacement root is secure, it is fitted with a connecting “abutment” piece and finally, an artificial tooth, or crown, that matches the surrounding teeth.
Many people are more familiar with dentures, which are prosthetic teeth that can be fitted for your mouth. A dentist will take an impression of the gums and study your bite to ensure that the dentures fit your mouth perfectly. They can either be designed to replace all of your teeth or only a few missing teeth. They are held to your gums with a special adhesive.
Dental Implants VS Dentures
Different patients have preferences depending on their circumstances. Before deciding which choice to go for, it is important to look at each option in depth.
Dental implants are an incredibly popular choice for patients in their 60s or younger, as they are a permanent solution to tooth loss. Also, an important deciding factor is the jawbone density of the patient, as the jaw must be strong enough to support the implants. Older patients may find that they have suffered from bone loss or deterioration, making them a poor candidate for dental implants.
Dental implants are very stable, as they are connected directly to the jawbone. They also replace and fill the space of a natural tooth, meaning that the surrounding teeth will not shift in position and cause future issues that may need to be repaired. Rather, your facial structure will be retained.
Dental implants are also easy to maintain, as you simply have to brush your implanted teeth as you would your natural teeth. No special cleaning methods are required to keep them clean and well maintained.
Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth. An onlooker wouldn’t be able to tell that you have an implant, and most importantly, your teeth will be comfortable and functional. You will be able to chew food as normal, without experiencing shifting or discomfort.
However, dental implants are more expensive than dentures, and the implantation process is more invasive and time-consuming than the alternative.
Dentures are not only cheaper and less invasive than dental implants, they are also a much more viable option for patients who have reduced jawbone density. They are designed to fit your mouth and to look natural, and denture development has led to more comfortable and effective dentures.
However, dentures can still shift slightly and need to be maintained more carefully than implants. They need to be soaked overnight to keep them cleaned and also cleaned after eating. Dentures will also need to be checked by a dentist regularly and replaced as everyone’s bite shape changes over time.