Dental implants are a permanent, healthy, and natural-looking alternatives to dentures.
In many cases, patients are given a partial or full denture to replace missing teeth because that is all they were offered. The fact is partials and full dentures are traditional yet not the ideal choice. Today, there are several alternatives to removable dentures available to provide more health benefits and long-term solutions for missing teeth.
In this column, we will discuss how dental implants can add significant value to patients who thought the best option they can receive are dentures. We can do better!
Dentures are removable devices made to replace missing teeth. They are usually made of acrylic or a combination of acrylic and metal. The dentist will take an impression then send that information to a dental lab. The lab will then construct the partial or full denture based on the dentist’s prescription. The most common problems with dentures are they never quite fit snugly. They often slide, shift and bruise the underlying gums. Many patients never get comfortable with dentures and often complain that they are loose. There is also a psychological or emotional adjustment to wearing removable oral devices.
With upper full dentures the palate is usually covered and denture adhesives are required to aid in retention. Many of your taste buds are covered in full dentures and many patients complain of soreness and bruising of gum tissue when dentures don’t fit so well. Also, because dentures cause bone volume loss due to the unnatural pressures the dentures need to be relined and sometimes re-made.
With lower dentures, since no palate exists retention is even more difficult. Patients complain of lifting up and tipping when they bite on one side or the other. Denture adhesives are also commonly used in lower full dentures.
Many persons throughout the world have advanced their health and wellness with dental implants. An estimated 3 million people have a dental implant, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Patients who are missing one tooth, several teeth, or all of their teeth can enjoy implants as their preferred tooth replacement option.
Why replace your missing teeth? Without all of your teeth, your oral health and appearance will suffer.
Cosmetically, missing teeth can make your mouth look sunken and you prematurely age. Your jaw bone will begin to deteriorate wherever teeth are missing. This will weaken the roots of any remaining teeth. Also, missing teeth can make eating and talking both difficult, painful and embarrassing.
Here are some advantages of dental implants:
- They are versatile in that they can replace a single or many teeth at once.
- Dental implants preserve bone. The implant post acts like a tooth root which stimulate bone growth to prevent bone loss in the jaw.
- Natural-looking- The crown is made especially for you to blend in with your smile.
- Most patients are good candidates—even elderly patients and those who were denied other tooth replacement options in the past.
- They last a long time. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are fixed in place.
- You can eat the foods you love without embarrassment, pain or worry about their dentures slipping out.
- You enjoy improved speech for clear and confident speaking.
- Success rates for implants are easily up to 98%.
- Implants are cared for like natural teeth and can last a lifetime with proper care.
The goal of modern dentistry is to restore the patient to normal function, comfort, esthetics, speech and good health. Replacing missing teeth is a critical step in achieving a healthy smile. What makes implant dentistry unique? It is the best option to achieve this goal; regardless of age, bone loss, disease or injury to your oral cavity.
Dr. Kendal V. O. Major is Founder and CEO of Center for Specialized Dentistry which is a comprehensive family dental practice operating in Nassau and Freeport. He is the first Bahamian Specialist in gum diseases and dental implants since 1989. He also is a certified Fast braces provider. His practice is located at 89 Collins Avenue, Nassau at (242)325-5165 or [email protected].