You may think tooth decay or missing teeth are only a cosmetic problem. But ignoring dental issues can lead to several health concerns, too. Around 120 million American citizens have lost one tooth or more.
Losing a tooth does not affect your oral functions alone. It influences the jawbone, the foundation for your teeth. Your teeth support the jaw and keep it together. But after tooth loss, the jawbone begins to weaken, deteriorate, and atrophy. Yes, even one missing tooth can affect the jawbone as it reabsorbs and makes your cheeks look hollow.
So, if you have suffered tooth loss, you may be wondering: Do I replace them with dental implants or dentures? Keep reading to learn more information about tooth replacement and which option is better for you.
These dental prosthetics will protect the soft and firm parts of your gums. There are two kinds of dentures: partial and complete.
Complete dentures are more appropriate if you have several teeth missing. Partial dentures or traditional dental implants are better when several of your natural teeth are still in place. You can remove dentures at night or for cleaning. Implants remain in place permanently.
Advantages of Dentures
- Customized for your jaw
- High-quality material
- Allow you to chew and speak normally
An excellent alternative to dentures is dental implants. In the past few decades, they have become the gold standard of tooth replacement. Unlike dentures, dental implants are surgically implants. They secure your jaw in the same way as natural teeth. It will take time for the area to heal. Your options include:
- Permanent denture (partial or complete)
- Bridge (helps with multiple teeth)
- Dental crowns
Dental implants look natural. Nobody will guess you had lost any teeth.
Advantages of Dental Implants
- Durable and long-lasting
- Look natural and beautiful
- Help you eat and speak normally
- Restore the jawbone
- Promote gum health
- They consist of a safe, biocompatible titanium compound
Dentures vs. Implants
Before making this decision, consult your oral surgeon or dentist. However, there may be instances when your dental health professional has no preference, and the decision is entirely yours to make. Here are some things to consider before making your choice.
Choose Dentures If:
- You’re on a budget
- You need a quick solution
- Your jaw and gums won’t support implants
Dentures will need daily cleaning, just like your teeth. If you fail to give them attention, it may weaken your jaw further. Your oral surgeon or dentist can counsel you on this.
Dentures take time to adjust to. You may need to learn how to talk and eat while wearing them, and they may need replacing in a few years.
Choose Dental Implants If:
- You are looking for a lasting solution
- You don’t want to replace every few years
- You prefer your replacement to look more like your natural teeth
Dental implants are more expensive than dentures for an initial investment. But over time, without replacement and maintenance costs, they eventually pay for themselves. Dental implants may take longer to fill your gap, anywhere from three to nine months.