Dentures have long been the standard choice of patients who need to replace missing teeth in their smile. Dentures are a series of artificial teeth that are placed onto an acrylic mould that is worn over the gums. Each set of dentures is bespoke, made for the individual requirements of the patient. However, their long history doesn’t necessarily make them the best or right choice to restore the function and appearance of your teeth. Many patients are instead to turning to a more innovative treatment that eliminates some of the issues experienced when wearing dentures. One of these alternatives is dental implants.
Dental implants are porcelain crowns that are designed specifically to resemble your missing teeth. These are attached to titanium posts which have been surgically placed into the jaw and replace the natural root. This technique can be used to replace single or multiple missing teeth – including entire arches. Here are some of the main reasons why you should consider replacing your dentures with dental implants.
One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is that they actually protect you from bone deterioration and loss. When we lose teeth, we also lose the natural root of the tooth. Roots do more than just provide blood and nutrients to the tooth and help anchor it in place. The root also stimulates the bone so that it remains healthy and strong. When we lose even a single tooth, over time the bone in the area beneath the gap will become weaker and deteriorate, changing shape. Now imagine this scenario but for a full or even partial arch of teeth. Many patients who choose dentures find that after a number of months or years, the jaw starts to deteriorate. This can change their facial structure and cause dentures to no longer fit as snugly as before, requiring new dentures to be created. Dental implants can prevent this from happening.
The root of dental implants is surgically placed into the bone of the jaw. The bone then heals around it to secure it in place, before your denture is attached to it. This technique makes your dental implants permanent. The benefit of this is that you don’t need to take them out for cleaning and instead, you brush your implant just like you would your regular teeth. You can whatever foods you like and you don’t have to worry about dropping a denture and it breaking – something which is very common among denture wearers.
Discretion is a significant priority for many patients when it comes to any dental restoration. You probably don’t want people around you knowing that you are missing some of your natural teeth. With dental implants, they will never know unless you tell them. As they are anchored to the jawbone, dental implants are much more stable than dentures and won’t slip or move around when you move your mouth. And since they are custom-designed to look just like your natural teeth too, nobody will be able to tell them apart!
One of the biggest problems with dentures is that after you have purchased the dentures themselves, you then face ongoing maintenance costs. Dentures are quite fragile, and the risk of breakages are high. Every time your dentures are damaged, you can expect a bill for maintenance and repairs. This isn’t the case with dental implants, which can be brushed and flossed just like regular teeth and can’t fall out, be dropped or accidentally damaged in the same way as dentures.
Dentures have a reasonable lifespan, but it is unimpressive compared with dental implants. On average, a denture may last for an average of 10 years. However, with the proper care and attention, dental implants could be healthy and attractive for the remainder of your lifetime.
For more information about dental implants, or to schedule a consultation to discuss replacing your dentures with dental implants, please contact our team at the New York Institute of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery by calling (718) 557-9478.