Those who are missing teeth due to trauma, disease or poor dental care have a few reliable options. The most traditional of these options are dentures, the stereotypical false teeth you’ve seen on elderly people around the world. While dentures prove an effective solution for tooth loss, they aren’t without major limitations. Dental implants are an overall superior solution, and they’ve improved in cost and quality in recent years. These advantages of dental implants clearly illustrate why they’re the optimal choice for replacing missing teeth.
- Dental implants are more realistic than dentures
From their durable, permanent structure to the fact that they do not move around in your mouth, dental implants are much more realistic than dentures. Fusing directly to the patient’s jawbone gives dental implants a very solid feel, and restores the full function of the teeth. Compared to the adhesives and removal that’s required with dentures, it’s clear that dental implants act more like natural teeth.
The most noticeable way that dental implants are more realistic lies with their appearance. Adding support to the jaw and teeth fills out the patient’s face, avoiding the sunken-faced look caused by dentures.
Dental implants are functionally more realistic as well. For example, when biting into an apple, a dentures-wearer may have insecurity about whether their dentures will stay in their position throughout the process. They may wonder if their adhesive is strong enough or if their dentures are fitting properly after eating challenging foods, especially in social situations or in public. Dental implants eliminate these fears, proving that they’re the next best thing to a mouthful of strong teeth.
- Dental implants are better for your oral health
Healthier than a Dental Bridge
Unlike a dental bridge, dental implants do not require the reduction of surrounding teeth. This is advantageous because healthy permanent teeth should be kept in prime condition, not unnecessarily drilled down. Another health benefit of dental implants is that they’re designed to allow enough room between the teeth for proper oral care.
Healthier than Dentures
Dental implants are much healthier than dentures, primarily because of the support they give to surrounding teeth. This lack of structural support can cause significant problems for those who wear dentures in both the short and long term.
In the short term, denture-wearers are subject to additional cavities and decay if they don’t follow a fairly-stringent cleaning routine. Additionally, the dentures must be removed each night, and during that time there is nothing protecting the gums and remaining teeth. Patients who opt for dental implants do not share these concerns, as they always have a sturdy and reliable set of teeth that never require removal.
Long term denture wearers will inevitably experience bone loss. This condition is common in those with missing teeth or dentures, and sufferers often have a sunken-cheeked appearance. Conversely, dental implants fill in all gaps which would normally be filled by teeth, creating a healthy appearance you can be proud of.
- No chance for awkward moments with dental implants
Yet another area where dental implants are by far the superior choice is in social interactions. By simply being durable and realistic, dental implants circumvent a lot of the trouble caused by dentures. For example, denture wearers may worry whether speaking, coughing, chewing or sneezing will cause an awkward situation. Common ways dentures can be responsible for awkward moments include clicking, snapping, and completely dislodging during everyday activities. Properly fitting dentures shouldn’t present those kinds of problems, but nonetheless, they’re a daily concern for many denture-wearers.
- Better long-term value
The main reason that a lot of patients may opt for dentures over dental implants is the lower price. However, it’s important to take into account that dental implants typically last 5-8 times longer than dentures. To put the economy of each option into perspective, let’s consider the longevity of each:
Dental Implants Typically Last: 40-50 years
Dentures Typically Last: 5-7 years
Given the long-term value of dental implants, it’s clear that they’re a wise investment for those who need them. If you’re considering getting dentures because they cost less, remember that you’re accepting the numerous disadvantages that come with them. It’s also notable that you’ll need another set of dentures in 5-7 years, so it’s crucial to factor that in to the overall price of each option.
- Maintaining dental implants is simple and realistic
One big advantage for busy or easily-distracted people is that dental implants are much easier to maintain. While dental implant maintenance is essentially the same as good oral care for real teeth, denture upkeep involves an entirely different skillset that requires you to remove them. Here is a snapshot of the maintenance process that the Mayo Clinic recommends for both options:
How to Maintain Dental Implants
- Brush regularly
- Floss with a floss threader
How to Maintain Dentures
- Remove them each night and handle them carefully
- Clean your mouth without dentures
- Brush your dentures everyday
- Soak your dentures in a solution each night
- Rinse dentures before returning them to your mouth
- Dental implants better facilitate eating and speaking
The most critical advantages of dental implants will be noticed in your everyday actions. Speaking and eating are two of the most essential activities that we do on a daily basis. To have either of these actions impacted can have a massive negative effect on your entire life. Unfortunately, these are common areas where many denture-wearers have trouble. Here is an overview of the challenges dentures present to fundamental actions like eating and speaking:
Problems Posed by Dentures When Eating
- Biting with front teeth may dislodge dentures
- You can’t pull food off a fork with dentures
- Denture-wearers must be aware of food location and balance in their mouths
- Denture-wearers must cut food into small pieces
- The awkward possibility exists for dentures to dislodge in public
- Eating insecurity can cause wide-spanning mental & physical problems for denture-wearers
Problems Posed by Dentures When Speaking
- Speech may sound different do to different structure in mouth
- Clicking or snapping noises may occur when speaking
- Dentures produce more saliva which can alter speech
- Certain words may be continually difficult to pronounce for denture-wearers
- Many feel a fear of their dentures dislodging in social situations
Unlike the various annoyances required when wearing dentures, dental implants require little extra effort and have no negative impact on eating or speaking. Along with the other advantages, it’s apparent that dental implants excel in every category except for immediate price. Ultimately, is any price too great for the ability to eat, speak, and live as if you had a complete set of healthy teeth?
Call Dr. Spadafora for an Exam to Find Out if Dental Implants Are Right for You
As a highly-acclaimed Master of General Dentistry (MAGD), Dr. Spadafora is a resounding expert on dental implants, dentures, and all other dental treatments. If you’re missing teeth, there is a host of problems that can affect your health until you get them replaced. To find out if a dental bridge, dentures or dental implants are within your budget, contact Dr. Spadafora today.