Teeth fall out or get extracted for one reason or another. And by the time most people are well into adulthood, they are missing at least one tooth due to things like tooth decay, gum disease, or trauma. Losing teeth may make someone feel uncomfortable and lack self-esteem for aesthetic reasons, but they can also cause further damage to the surrounding teeth due to lack of support.
To counteract this tooth loss, dentists often recommend solutions such as dental implants and dentures. Though different, both serve the purpose of filling the place of missing teeth.
So, just what is the difference between dental implants and dentures? Let’s take a look.
Dentures are a means of artificial teeth that have been around for many years – 100s of years even. They can come in partial or full sets and can make it easier to eat – especially if you have been dealing with a lot of missing teeth.
A full set of dentures sits on top of the gums. They are not implanted, but rather are secured with various types of adhesives. Without this security, the dentures can easily flop around in the mouth and can pop out when the mouth is opened to eat or speak. You’ve likely seen this happen on a funny video. So, it is no hidden secret that they can be removed with ease. Partial dentures, on the other hand, are designed to latch on to the surrounding teeth to stay in place. These may replace missing teeth in various areas of the mouth using one partial for the top and another for the bottom.
Dentures should be regularly removed for cleaning which must be done outside the mouth rather than in it.
On average, dentures last about 15 years or so before needing to be replaced.
Downfalls of Dentures
While dentures have allowed a lot of people to eat over the years and feel better about having teeth, they do have some downfalls.
Full dentures rest on the gums and can therefore cause irritation – especially if they do not fit well. And many people find that they don’t have the ability to eat all their favorite foods while wearing dentures due to their limitations.
Partial dentures come with their own set of problems. Because they attach to nearby teeth in order to remain in place the anchor tooth can be subjected to infection and decay with time. Losing this tooth could render the current partials useless.
Dental implants are much different than dentures, despite also being an alternative solution that fills in for missing teeth. And they can last a couple of decades – or longer – depending on how well you care for them.
Designed to provide the look and functionality of a real tooth, dental implants are much stronger and sturdier than dentures. They don’t pop out or require any special adhesives. In fact, you treat them much like your real teeth.
Dental implants do not simply rest on the surface of the gums but, as the name suggests, are implanted into the bone. They haven’t been around very long but they seem to have a bright future. They work as titanium posts are implanted into the jaw bone where the missing tooth is and acts like a “root.” Once it has had time to fuse together with the bone, an artificial tooth, such as a crown, can be attached to the top.
Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth, several, or an entire mouth of teeth. And you only need a couple of implants to make any of those happen.
Dental Implants at Perio Implant Specialists of NJ
If you have missing teeth, you have a choice in your alternative solution. You can opt for dentures that may help you get by – or opt for dental implants that will have everyone believing your teeth are 100% real unless you tell them otherwise.
Learn more about dental implants at Perio Implant Specialists of NJ.