When it comes to replacing missing teeth, two popular remedies are dentures and implants. But which one is right for you? Here’s a look at some of their pros and cons to help you decide.
Removable dentures can easily be placed in the mouth, and then removed when they need to be cleaned. They aren’t permanently fixed into the jaw, and they shouldn’t be worn 24/7. However, they can be extremely helpful when it comes to eating and speaking because they effectively replace missing teeth when worn correctly.
Whether you need a partial or full set of dentures, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions for caring for them. Doing so will help you keep them in tip-top shape, and keep your mouth as healthy as possible too. You might, for example, have to take them out every night before bed, place them in a solution to thoroughly clean them, and then reinsert them in the morning.
What do dentures look like? Well, they have a plastic base that’s designed to look like your gums, and they feature false teeth that are made to look like real teeth. When fitted properly, they should feel comfortable and you shouldn’t have any trouble getting them into position.
It can take some time to get used to wearing dentures, even when it comes to using denture adhesive to prevent them from shifting. But if your dentures aren’t comfortable or stable, don’t hesitate to let your dentist know. Some simple adjustments can help you avoid soreness and discomfort. And ensuring your dentures are fitted just right can also help prevent oral health problems like decay and infections.
Another thing to consider is that dentures might not fit your mouth the same way as you get older because your mouth can change with age. So, even after those initial adjustments to get them to fit just right, you might end up needing additional tweaks down the road to keep them feeling comfortable.
Finally, dentures are susceptible to breaking, chipping, or cracking. If they’re damaged in any way, your dentist can work on repairing them, or you might need to get brand new dentures.
Note: Don’t want to deal with removable dentures? You might be a good candidate for permanent dentures, which are actually set in place with implants.
If your jaw isn’t strong or healthy enough for dental implants, dentures might be the best solution for your missing teeth.
What about cost? In terms of how much they cost compared to implants, dentures tend to be less pricey. So, if you can’t afford implants, dentures might be the way to go.
Dental implants are one of the most popular solutions for missing teeth, whether you need to replace just one tooth or many teeth. Unlike dentures that can be removed, these are permanently set into the jaw, so they look, feel, and function just like real teeth.
The great thing about implants is that they’re stable and secure, and they can last a long time. They might even support the health of your jaw by helping to prevent it from shrinking.
Once your implant is in place, you’ll be able to eat and speak as you would with natural teeth. Plus, you can take care of an implant just like you would your other chompers by simply brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist for checkups and cleanings.
To get implants, you need to undergo a surgical procedure that typically involves multiple steps. Therefore, it can take time (we’re talking weeks or even months!).
Generally, the steps include:
Note: Along the way, your dentist will give you medications to help ease any pain you might experience until you’re totally healed.
Again, if your jaw isn’t healthy enough for the surgical procedure that’s necessary to insert an implant, your dentist might recommend another solution, such as dentures.
Your dentist will also take your overall health into consideration when determining if it would be safe for you to undergo the implant procedure. For example, if you have a medical condition that may affect your ability to heal, dentures might be a better solution.
Even if you’re only missing one tooth, getting it replaced is a smart move. Beyond impacting your confidence, missing teeth might also affect your ability to chew and speak. And when you leave that gap behind, the nearby teeth might end up shifting too, and that may cause your bite to change. Plus, the health and strength of your jaw might deteriorate over time if you’re missing teeth. Yikes!
If you’re ready to replace teeth that you’ve lost, dentures and implants are two solutions that are definitely worth looking at. The best way to know which option is right for you, though, is by consulting with a dentist. And having the right insurance can help you save money at every step until your smile is restored.