Dental Implants or Dentures?
Choosing the Right Tooth Replacement Solution
Implant dentistry has many benefits over the traditional removable options for replacing missing or failing teeth. The team of experts at Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery specialize in restoring teeth through custom treatment plans that are unique to every patient.
Patients often choose removable dentures or bridges because they are cheaper upfront, but there are many pros and cons to this option. Removable oral appliances often present costly repairs in the future. Dentures must be replaced about every 5 years and if your dentures are not fitted properly, they could slip around in your mouth and cause sores. Many people with dentures find them inconvenient to remove during meals and brushing. They may also feel embarrassed to be without teeth at times. While cheaper in the beginning, complete dentures and removable bridges can lead to costly repairs and severe bone loss down the road.
By choosing dental implants instead of dentures, these issues are nonexistent. Your dental implant fuses to the jaw bone, and it will remain in your mouth at all times. This includes eating, brushing, and flossing. A valuable alternative to dentures, dental implants are designed to look and feel just like natural teeth. Dental implants will not need to be replaced when properly cared for, which saves time and money in the future. Implant-supported tooth replacement is the only type of restoration that is embedded into the jaw bone, preventing bone loss and maintaining good oral health.
Treatment Options for Missing Teeth
Whether you’re missing one tooth or many teeth, our oral surgeons and prosthodontists will create a custom solution for you. There are many treatment options to consider when undergoing restorative dental work. During your first visit, we will discuss these options with you and help determine the right choice for your smile needs.
- Dental Implants. One dental implant is a long-term replacement option that can support a single missing tooth as many times as you need throughout your mouth.
- Implant-Supported Bridge. If you are missing multiple teeth beside each other, one or more dental implant posts can support a bridge that restores your smile’s appearance and function.
- Full-Arch Restoration. Patients in need of a smile makeover can achieve a complete and fully functioning smile that uses dental implants to support a permanent prosthesis that looks and feels like natural teeth.
- Removable Bridges or Partial Dentures. These options restore multiple missing teeth by using adjacent teeth to support the prosthesis. Your bridge or partial must be replaced every few years and does not strengthen the jaw bone.
- No Replacement. By not replacing a missing tooth, you put your oral health at risk because the jaw bone will not receive the stimulation it needs to remain healthy. Over time, the jaw will deteriorate, which can cause nearby teeth to shift into the empty space, bite problems, and more severe bone loss.
Prevent Jaw Bone Loss
The replacement teeth you choose affects your oral and overall health. Dental implants are the only restorative option that fuse to the jaw bone, keeping it healthy and preventing bone loss. Bridges and dentures sit on top of the bony ridge in your mouth. While this restores the appearance and sometimes function of your smile, it does not stimulate the jaw and keep it strong.
Jaw bone atrophy associated with tooth loss can require extensive surgery in the future to replace the missing bone and restore your smile. Bone grafts can help regrow bone, but major bone loss requires more complex treatment. When the jaw bone weakens, patients may experience sagging due to asymmetrical facial structures, teeth shifting out of place, and bite misalignment.
Replacing a missing tooth as soon as possible is recommended. That way, the jaw is prevented from weakening and you are able to confidently smile and eat with a complete set of teeth. Dental implants have a high success rate and when cared for properly, they can last a lifetime. There are many reasons why dental implants are the better choice for tooth restoration, and our team of implant experts will walk you through every step of your oral surgery treatment.