Make the Educated Choice: Dental Implants vs. Dentures

dental implants and denturesWhen it comes to choosing between dental implants and dentures to replace missing teeth, the question isn’t always which restorative treatment is the “best.” More accurately, the “right” choice is the one that works for your particular level of oral health. A consultation with an oral surgeon will give you the best information about whether you are eligible for dental implants. For some people, a combination of dental implants and dentures will be the solution. Other people may only be able to wear dentures. Every case is unique, but the ultimate goal is to provide each patient with a natural-looking smile that functions well and restores your confidence as well as your oral health.

Can any tooth be replaced with a dental implant?

Lost teeth can occur for any number of reasons, from periodontal disease to an injury suffered in a car accident or sporting game. What you will be happy to know is that an oral surgeon can replace any missing tooth with a dental implant – but, there does need to be enough bone available in that part of your mouth to support the implant’s fusion with the jawbone (known as osseointegration).

Aren’t dentures the most reliable tooth replacement option?

Modern dentures have come a long way, but the drawbacks remain: the dentures slip around and move too much; gums become sore; there is excessive saliva, which can lead to slipping dentures; and the mouth feels too full.

One of the biggest complaints is that dentures are not fitted properly. Often, this is not the case. What tends to occur with dentures is that they begin to loosen over time. Dentures rest on a person’s jawbone and gum tissue. Without the stimulation of tooth roots to keep the jawbone in good condition, the bone can begin to deteriorate. This means the dentures will no longer fit the way they first did. And this need to strengthen the jawbone is the reason dental implants have become such a popular and successful option for replacing missing teeth. Plus, dental implants, once in place, are permanent. Any dissatisfied denture-wearer is sure to rejoice at that possibility.

How do dental implants and dentures work together?

It isn’t necessary to have a dental implant and prosthetic tooth put in place for every tooth that is missing. One of the more economical ways to correct a mouth that has several teeth or an entire arch of teeth missing is by combining dental implants and dentures into one solution. Dental implants can be surgically placed in a three or four select spots in the jaw, thereby stimulating the jawbone as necessary and helping to preserve your jaw health (and speeding healing time).

Once your oral surgeon has confirmed that the implants have been properly accepted by the jawbone and that the surgical sites have mended successfully, prosthetic teeth are attached to the implants. Modern dentures are used for the prosthetics, and sometimes dental bridges. Either way, your smile is once again complete. And, most of all, your smile is secure – no appliances need to be removed, no adhesives are necessary, and no special cleaning is required. You have a complete, flawless smile that functions properly and gives you the confidence to smile, speak, and eat normally once again.

Can I be a dental implant candidate if I have worn dentures for years?

Even if you have limited bone tissue, consult with your oral surgeon. You may still be a candidate for dental implants. Age is not an issue either. As long as your oral health is in good shape, dental implant surgery could be an option. Your desire to have a long-lasting and easy-to-maintain smile is the biggest element for being a dental implant candidate – your oral surgeon will figure out the rest. Contact Dr. Will Thompson, oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Commerce, Michigan, to schedule your consultation and learn more about your candidacy for dental implants.


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