Losing your teeth can be rather stressful and confusing. Tooth loss is a fact of life for many as we age, but we also see tooth loss for many younger people in our dental practice. Approximately 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal, or tooth decay. And nearly 1 in 5 of adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth, according to the CDC.
Considerations like how much it cost to replace a missing tooth or several natural teeth, what the benefits are, dental implants vs dentures and how it impacts your health now and in the future make it a tough decision for most people to decide on how to remedy the situation. Still, it is essential to replace your missing teeth as soon as feasible so you can get back to a normal life of eating, restoring your self-esteem, and avoiding long term health complications. If you want to stop hiding your smile, then your tooth replacement options consist of dentures, denture dental implants or dental implants, but which one is the best option for you? Keep reading to learn about dental implants vs dentures and whether traditional dentures or one of our dental implant options is best.
What are your denture options?
There are several different types of dentures or false teeth available from traditional removable full dentures and partial dentures to implant-supported snap-on dentures or overdentures, which are widely used as tooth replacement options and each has its pros and cons.
Traditional dentures are removable appliances with a pink gum-colored acrylic base that support the denture teeth. Full dentures rest directly on the gums and replace all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw, while partial dentures fill in gaps between the healthy teeth and are often attached to crowns or with clasps.
One of the biggest reasons people choose a traditional denture is that they are less expensive than dental implants, and they do not require surgery. They can also work well for patients with unhealthy jaws and insufficient bone.
Outside of being less expensive and your unique situation, there are some drawbacks to dentures to consider before deciding how to replace your missing teeth.
Some downsides to dentures include:
- Dentures are much larger than the teeth they replace.
- Increase jawbone loss and additional deterioration of the facial structure.
- The bite force is significantly reduced, and you need to chew much longer.
- The teeth and gum material don’t look as natural as real teeth or implants.
- They must be removed nightly and thoroughly cleaned regularly.
- Require adhesives or creams that make them messy, annoying, and expensive.
- Slip around, causing discomfort and difficulty to speak and eat.
- Have to avoid some foods due to diminished chewing capacity.
- Increased risk of gum disease from trapped food.
- Frequently need to be remade or relined, creating additional long term costs.
- Partial dentures can weaken the adjacent healthy teeth that provide support for the dentures.
If you have dentures now and are unhappy with them or are thinking about getting dentures, you should seriously consider the various dental implant options available. Although dentures have gotten much better over the years, many patients choose modern dental implants to alleviate all of the issues mentioned above regarding dentures.
What are your denture replacement options?
Dental implants are a fantastic permanent replacement teeth option for dentures that look and feel more like real teeth and are much more comfortable. There are several implant options depending on your budget and your specific dental needs, from removable implants dentures to non-removable full-arch dental implant bridges.
Removable implant overdentures or snap-On dentures
Implant Overdentures or “Snap-On Dentures” as they are often referred to because the denture and the implants are connected with a male-female, snap assembly that prevents the movement you get from a traditional denture, but still allows them to be removable and can be a great option for replacement teeth.
Overdentures are a significant next step from dentures because they fit much better, don’t slip or require adhesives, easy to clean, and offer support of the facial structure where bone may have been lost. They also cost less than a permanently fixed bridge implant. If you have extensive bone loss in your jaw and want to stabilize your denture, implant overdentures may be an excellent option.
A snap-on denture does require routine care and maintenance like a traditional denture. You will need to remove it at night and soak in a cleaning solution and brush before placing it back in your mouth the next day. Because you’re still using a denture appliance that covers the roof of your mouth, it may also affect the way you talk. However, implant-supported dentures are much better than traditional dentures in that they attach to implant anchors for a secure connection to the jaws you still don’t get the advantages of fixed bridge implants when it comes to things like eating, convenience, comfort, longevity, and confidence.
Full-arch dental implant bridge or fixed implant zirconia bridges (non-removable) all on 4, all on 6
If you need to replace an entire arch of teeth, then a full-arch dental implant bridge could be the treatment for you. Fixed implant bridges require full arch replacement, which is the replacement of all teeth using between four and six implants per arch commonly referred to as All-On4 and All-On-6. All of our implant bridges are made from zirconia porcelain to produce naturally beautiful results, giving you a solution that looks and functions like your original teeth and is considered the gold standard of teeth replacement options.
The advantages of a fixed bridge vastly outweigh those of removable dentures. A fixed bridge will fully mimic natural teeth, and with proper care and maintenance, a can last for more than 25 years and can be a lifetime solution to tooth loss.
The Zirconia material we use is one of the things that make a fixed teeth replacement implant so superior because it’s the most durable material available and is highly biocompatible because it lacks the porose micropores that acrylic materials used in dentures have.
The benefits of a fixed zirconia implant bridge:
- No Staining from things like coffee, teas, wine, or berries.
- Natural translucency and depth like real teeth.
- No micropores that accumulate bacteria and decay.
- Just standard brushing, flossing, and regular dentist visits.
- Durable construction to avoid chipping or breaking.
- No reinforcement metal frames needed.
There are situations where a fixed zirconia bridge may not be ideal for your situation. Because the zirconia and the porcelain used are heavier than what we use in dentures implants, you need to have enough bone to support them.
Which dental implant option is right for you?
We know there are many options when it comes to replacing your missing teeth. We want to help you decide which is the best option for you based on your needs and budget. Dr. Gordon can go over your options during your free consultation to see which implant option is best for you.
Schedule your free consultation HERE