Traditional, removable dentures have been the standard tooth replacement option for decades, but that’s been rapidly changing as dental implants continue to advance and prove their success and effectiveness. This is great news for many because dental implants have several advantages over traditional dentures and represent a permanent solution that can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.
Disadvantages of traditional dentures
Wearing traditional dentures is certainly better than living with missing teeth, and they can restore speech, chewing and appearance effectively. However, removable dentures have several disadvantages including:
- Not a permanent solution and may require replacement as mouth shape changes
- Prone to sliding and moving while talking and eating
- Require using adhesives to hold in place
- Sometimes uncomfortable, painful, ill-fitting
Fortunately, there are viable alternatives to traditional dentures today, and one of the top options is dental implants. Fast becoming the preferred option for patients with missing teeth, dental implants can hold a crown to replace a single tooth or anchor dental bridges and dentures.
Understanding dental implants
For dental implants, the dentist surgically places a permanent structure, usually a titanium rod, in the jawbone and then attaches a prosthetic tooth (crown), bridge or denture. Titanium is strong, durable, lightweight and integrates with the jawbone to replace the natural tooth root through a process called osseointegration. During this process, the jawbone heals around the rod and attaches to the implant, treating it as if were a natural tooth root. Following a healing period of 3-6 months, the dentist applies the replacement tooth via an abutment, which is a small connecting post.
Advantages of dental implants
Compared to traditional, removable dentures that can slip during eating and drinking and eventually require replacement as a person’s oral structure changes, dental implants have numerous advantages.
Permanent solution – Unlike dentures that require removal for cleaning, dental implants remain permanently rooted in the original tooth socket, integrated into the jawbone.
Stability – Traditional dentures can slide, but dental implants stay in place and offer stability during speaking and eating.
Self-esteem boost – The natural look and feel of dental implants can help boost confidence, and as they never require removal like dentures do, patients have teeth all day and all night.
Comfortable – While traditional dentures can slide around and rub on gums or cheeks, permanent dental implants stay in place and are more comfortable.
Easier eating – Dentures can make it difficult to eat firmer foods as they slide around and aren’t as stable as natural teeth, but dental implants or implant-supported dentures are stable so patients can eat all the foods they love.
Potential lifetime solution – With proper oral care and regular dental visits, dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime.
Aesthetically better – When the dentist uses dental implants to replace missing teeth, they attach below the gum line for a natural appearance that has better aesthetics than traditional dentures.
Dental implants are a highly successful tooth replacement alternative to traditional dentures, but they’re not suitable for everyone. If you’re in need of tooth replacement, contact Chianese Dental to discuss the options available to restore your smile.