It is common to see people with missing teeth resulting from an injury, tooth decay due to poor oral hygiene, genetic condition, or gum disease. Living with flat gum might be unbearable because it limits the kind of food you eat and your confidence to smile, and you can even have speaking problems. Therefore, you may need dental implants and dentures to replace your missing teeth and live a full life.
But what are dental implants? Dental implants are teeth imitations placed on your gum through surgery. They comprise an artificial tooth screwed into the jawbone to create a permanent foundation for tooth replacement. Although there are several tooth replacement options, an implant is different in replacing both the tooth and root.
Why You Need Dental Implants
There are many changes to your mouth when you lose a tooth and fail to replace it. It begins with one shift, then another follows, and in the end, the positioning of your teeth shifts. Some of these changes cause problems in biting and occlusion, affecting your speech.
You can prevent this through dental implants, which work to replace the root of your missing tooth. The implant is made of titanium which merges with your jawbone to prevent movement, noise, or bone damage which can happen with other replacement options.
Here’s how to determine if dental implants are good for you.
- One or more missing teeth
- A full-grown jawbone
- Your jawbone is adequate to hold the implants or a bone graft
- Healthy oral tissues
- You don’t have other health conditions that can affect bone healing
- If you’re unable or reluctant to wear dentures
- The need to improve your speech
- You have the will to commit to months of the process to completion
- You don’t smoke tobacco
Available Options to Replace Missing Teeth
Healthy teeth are essential for various reasons; proper speaking, eating, and, most importantly, a confident smile. Without one or more teeth, it may become challenging to accomplish these tasks, making tooth replacement a necessity in the long run. Therefore, if you’re missing one or more teeth, here are the options for replacement.
Dental implants are teeth imitations that replace missing teeth from the root by fusing with the jawbone. They’re ideal for replacing one tooth, but if you’re missing multiple teeth, it might not be the best choice. Dental implants look, feel, and assume the place of natural teeth. Additionally, they can last for years without replacement or repair. Since dental implants are only put in place through surgery, it’s costly and may not be suitable for many.
As the name suggests, a fixed bridge connects two or more missing teeth. You’ll be required to visit your dentist severally from the inception of this process to the end. It involves customizing the bridge or bridges and placing them in the right location, which might take some time. Once the procedure is done, the bridge feels and looks like your natural teeth without the need to remove or clean them separately. And the best part, they’re affordable to many.
This is a less invasive bridge than the fixed option. A fixed bridge is perfect for chewing teeth, while a resin-retained bridge is an excellent alternative to missing front teeth, which don’t endure too much pressure. Resin-retained bridges are affixed to the neighboring teeth, helping them stay firm on each side, and are much cheaper.
Removable Partial Dentures
Removable partial dentures replace several teeth and function like other natural teeth. Although these temporary dentures are ideal for chewing and beauty, they can be uncomfortable if worn for an extended time. Removable dentures are affordable, available, and easy to repair if damaged.
Complete Removable Dentures
Depending on the number of teeth you’re missing, completely removable dentures are more invasive compared to the other two, and you may have to visit the dentist several times. They’re used to replacing most of the missing teeth, if not all, and you can’t wear them for 24 hrs. This is because complete removable dentures are uncomfortable, but your dentist will provide you with the dos and don’ts of the dentures.
Advantages of Dental Implants Over Dentures
A dental implant replaces a missing tooth. The procedure is done through surgery, where a screw-like device is inserted into the jawbone. An implant has a crown that’s custom-made to fit a specific person’s mouth, considering the color of teeth. Here are the advantages of dental implants over dentures.
- They appear more natural and are comfortable
- The procedure has a higher success rate
- Improves different teeth functions
- Reduces the risk of cavities to the nearby teeth
- Usher’s better bone maintenance at the site of loss
- Decreases sensitivity in nearby teeth
- No need to remove it for cleaning each night