If you have lost several or all of your permanent teeth, your dentist would most likely present you with two teeth replacement options: Dental implants and dentures.
For many years, removable dentures were the only realistic solution for replacing your missing teeth. With the advent of dental implants, today’s patients can opt for a new set of artificial teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.
What are Dentures?
Dentures refer to a prosthetic dental appliance that is used to hold a set of artificial teeth – they may also contain only one tooth. Fixed and supported by the gum on the jawbone, dentures are installed to restore the aesthetic appearance of a full set of teeth.
The benefits of removable dentures include improving the facial appearance of an edentulous patient, affording one the ability to chew and speak properly.
There are two main types of dentures – complete and partial dentures.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are “root-like” screws made from titanium that are biologically fused to your jawbone via a process known as osseointegration.
By attaching the implants directly to the jaw, they provide a more solid and stable restoration than any other teeth replacement method – that’s why they’re called true replacement teeth.
A dental implant is usually made of three parts:
- A tiny titanium screw-like post, which is implanted into the jaw to replace the root of the missing tooth;
- A porcelain crown, a tooth-like cap that is visible in the mouth; and
- A titanium abutment, which adjoins the crown to the screw.
Advantages of Dental Implants over Dentures
What sets dental implants apart from other teeth replacement options is this: they replace the lost teeth right down to the roots.
Even though the quality of dentures has improved in terms of look and feel, they cannot be expected to provide the same strength, durability and stability as dental implants. Unlike implants, they are not surgically attached to the jawbone.
The removable denture produces that tell-tale clicking and hissing sounds when speaking or eating. If not properly secured – usually with denture paste or glue – they are known to slip out of position when the denture wearer speaks or chews, which can be embarrassing.
An ill-fitted partial denture or bridge is also prone to cause infection and decay in other teeth. Inflammation or irritation of oral tissues and plaque accumulation are some common problems that can occur from wearing removable dentures.
On the other hand, dental implants feel and function like real teeth. Unlike removable dentures, they are not prone to tooth decay, prevent tooth drifting and give you a permanent teeth replacement solution.
Implants feel so comfortable that most implant patients forget the prosthetic teeth are there.
Far more sturdy and reliable than dentures, they allow you to eat any kind of food and chew it better. Best of all, they don not interfere with your lifestyle – having to put up with messy adhesives, rubbing, or pain.
Dental implants offer a lower risk of gum disease and bone loss than dentures. There is no accumulation of plaque, gum irritation or ulcer formations, as can be the case with dentures.
Finally, implants have a very high success rate, with the average being between 95-98 per cent. If you need more information on dental implants and are planning to get it done for you then read What to expect from a dental implant surgery