Whether lost through an injury or underlying dental condition, such as decay and gum disease, tooth loss can wreak havoc on your appearance, self-esteem, and oral health. Unfortunately, many people feel there is no need to replace missing teeth or they feel the cost of restoring their smile is not a worthwhile investment. Thankfully, there are many options available if you are missing teeth. This guide will help you understand the differences between implants and dentures and if one is more suitable for you and your needs.
Most people are surprised to learn that implants are placed directly into the jaw bone through a surgical process. While some may consider it invasive, the surgical placement of dental implants ensures your smile will be restored in the most natural and effective way possible.
Of course, the process is a bit involved.
To get started, your dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue where you are missing the tooth. A titanium rod is placed into the tissue and then mounted into the actual jaw. Over time, the titanium rod will fuse into the jaw bone, securing the implant in place.
A temporary crown is screwed onto the top of the titanium implant. A more realistic crown will be created in a lab while your implant osseointegrates into the jaw bone. Once your jaw bone and gum tissue have healed, the permanent crown is attached to the implant.
If you do not have adequate bone in your jaw to support the implants, your dentist may recommend a bone grafting surgery before placing the implants.
If you are missing a few teeth, your dentist may recommend partial dentures. These artificial teeth are worn in the mouth, supported by your existing teeth. If you do not have any teeth, full dentures can be created to fit into your mouth in a custom manner.
Dentures are a good option for anyone who lacks bone density to support implants. Or, for patients who want a less invasive option for restoring their smile.
Unlike implants, dentures can be removed for cleaning, but because they are easy to remove, they can shift in the mouth. If the dentures do not fit properly, they can also be uncomfortable and difficult to wear.
Restoring your smile is beneficial for your appearance, but also to protect the rest of your teeth and gums. Contact a clinic, like New England Dental Specialists of Norwood, for more help.