Have you ever wondered about the benefits of dental implants vs. dentures vs. implant-supported dentures vs. dental bridges? It can be challenging and stressful to decide what is best for you in the long run when there are so many options available. Not to mention, the emotion that comes with missing teeth can cloud your judgment and make the decision more challenging yet.
Replacing Your Teeth is Important
Many of us feel that replacing missing teeth is important for aesthetics, but there are other reasons to replace your missing teeth, too. Replacing your missing teeth will allow you to chew and speak easier. You’re used to having all your teeth, so chewing and talking becomes difficult when you find yourself without one or many.
Missing teeth also increase your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. The spot that used to contain a tooth is susceptible to infection because it’s harder to clean. Additionally, you’ll also have to change how you chew, which means more pressure on your other teeth. More pressure on those other teeth means they could break or crack under the force it isn’t supposed to bear. Cracks and brakes allow bacteria in—and they’re painful!
Last but certainly not least, missing teeth mean bone loss in your jaw. Without a tooth root to stimulate your jaw, your bone cells won’t repair and replace as they’re supposed to. You could develop a sunken face and wrinkles that make you look much older than you are.
Dentures have been around since the 7th century BC, but they’ve come a long way from the animal teeth (or other human teeth!) used back then. Now, dentures are an attractive option for many people looking for a lower-cost tooth replacement or who can’t get dental implants (it’s very rare that someone can’t get dental implants).
You can get full dentures or partial dentures. Full dentures replace an entire arch of teeth, and partial dentures replace a few missing teeth. In either case, the false teeth are on a plastic or metal base held in place mainly by suction. This isn’t always very secure, but you could get used to the slippage in time, or careful chewing could negate it.
Dentures do not stimulate your jawbone. Dentures rest on your gums which can be uncomfortable, and they don’t contain an artificial tooth root. Without it, you’ll experience jawbone loss.
Dental bridges are just as the name suggests. They are teeth that ‘bridge’ the gap left behind by missing teeth. Dental bridges are like dentures in that they do not have an artificial tooth root that stimulates your jawbone. Unlike dentures, they don’t slip when talking or eating because they are secured in place by crowns on your surrounding natural teeth. Additionally, a dental bridge is permanent, unlike dentures. Though, dental bridges are only an option if you are not replacing an entire arch of teeth. A dental bridge needs two natural teeth per three replacement teeth to secure with.
Dental bridges can harm your surrounding teeth. Since they’re secured in place by the surrounding teeth, those surrounding teeth take the bite force of chewing. More bite force than they’re supposed to undertake can cause breaking and cracking and eventually gum disease.
Even still, a dental bridge can be a good option for those who are only replacing some teeth, need affordability, and don’t want the denture hassle of slippage and taking them out at night.
Dental implants can replace one tooth or an entire arch of teeth. A dental implant is a titanium post surgically placed in your jawbone. Then, your artificial tooth or dental crown sits on top of the dental implant. With dental implants, you can,
- Eat all your favorite foods without your teeth coming out or becoming damaged.
- Speak clearly without denture whistling.
- Enjoy easy maintenance—just brush, floss, and visit your Spokane dentist as usual!
- Look younger for longer.
- Never have to remove your teeth.
- Look just like natural teeth and are made of durable, beautiful material.
We don’t know precisely how long dental implants will last because, with proper care, they’ve endured over 50 years. There is no evidence to suggest that your dental implants won’t last your lifetime if you have good oral hygiene. However, the crown on top of the implant will need replacing every 10-15 years.
The dental implant acts like your tooth root. Therefore, it stimulates your jawbone, allowing your body to retain bone density. You can be sure you won’t experience a sunken face with dental implants. Since the post is placed directly into your jawbone, the force of biting and chewing will go into your jawbone, too, just like a natural tooth.
Take it from an expert; dental implants are the best tooth-replacement option on the market.
Implant-supported dentures are another tooth replacement option that allows you to keep your teeth in 24/7 and stimulates your jawbone. Your dentures are secured to four implant posts strategically placed into your jawbone with this option. There are areas of your jaw that can handle more bite pressure than others, so that’s where we put the implants. With implant-supported dentures, you can get an entire arch of teeth on only four dental implants. Sometimes, these are called all-on-4 dental implants.
However, implant-supported dentures are still dentures, which means they won’t retain their luster and shine as long as the ceramic crown a dental implant would have.
Which is Best for Me?
With so many options, it’s not a clear choice which tooth replacement option is right for you. Ask yourself these five questions,
- Do I want permanent or removable teeth?
- Do I want to retain my bone structure?
- How much can I spend?
- What are the implications for my other teeth?
- Am I fit for surgery?
If these five questions haven’t helped you decide which tooth replacement option is best for you, make an appointment with your Spokane, WA, cosmetic dentist. Doctors Ken and Marnie Collins are experts in tooth replacement and can help you choose the right option for your lifestyle and give you a smile you’ve been dreaming of.
If you’re looking to replace teeth in Spokane, WA, Collins Dentistry and Aesthetics is the place for you. Call (509) 532-1111 today or make an appointment online. Your new smile is waiting.