Tooth loss can be crippling. Worse, it can lead to a wide range of escalating issues including infection, bone degeneration, and poor self-confidence. Unfortunately, it’s a daily reality for the 178 million Americans who have lost at least one of their teeth according to the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP).
Despite these high figures, many of us fail to understand the real risks that tooth loss poses, leaving us uncertain of our options if the worst does happen. Luckily, there are choices for repair, and they most commonly involve either dental implants or dentures. Here, we’re going to consider what each treatment plan entails, and which would be best for your needs.
Dentures: Pros, cons, and procedures
Dentures are a traditional tooth loss treatment that consists of removable appliances which replace both missing teeth and some of the gum line. Available in either partial or full sets which are secured using special adhesives, dentures are commonly used in instances where there are no longer enough healthy teeth to support alternative treatments such as crowns or bridges.
What does denture treatment involve?
In the vast majority of cases, any remaining unhealthy teeth must be removed before dentures can be fitted. In some instances (immediate dentures,) your dentist will take denture impressions and measurements directly after removal. More commonly, however, you may need to wait several months, as the healing process can shrink the gums and impact how well your dentures fit. During the first few days after fitting, you’ll be required to wear your dentures most of the time, including while you sleep. Over time, you should be able to reduce this timeframe to give your gums time to breathe, ensuring their ongoing health.
- An affordable option
- Non-invasive fitting
- Suitable in even complete cases of tooth loss
- Suitable even for patients who have experienced bone or gum loss
- A relatively quick solution
- Need to be replaced roughly every 4-6 years
- No real support for jaw or gum structure
- Potential embarrassment due to wait time for fitting
- Adjustments may be necessary
Dental implants: Pros, cons, and procedures
By comparison, dental implants offer permanent solutions to tooth loss through the insertion of a titanium post into the jawbone. These titanium posts replicate the roots of natural teeth, and bond with the jawbone to create reliable anchors from which to support replacements. This tooth loss alternative has soared in popularity over recent years, and has even been enjoyed by celebrities including Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus.
What do dental implants involve?
Dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure during which your dentist will replace the roots of missing or damaged teeth with those titanium posts. This process typically involves a range of factors, including –
- Removing damaged teeth
- Bone of gum grafting where necessary
- Dental implant placement
- Bone growth and healing
- Placement of an artificial tooth
This process can take months altogether, but research suggests that once in place, dental implants can last twenty-five years or more.
- Successful in 95% of cases
- Long-lasting solutions
- A natural look and feel
- Improvements to the integrity of facial structure
- A cost-effective option long term
- More expensive upfront
- May not be possible in cases of extreme bone loss
- Invasive procedure
How to choose between the two
Now that you know your options, you’re likely curious about how exactly you should choose between the two. Obviously, developing a treatment plan with your dental professional is best, but there are some considerations that you can begin to make upfront, including –
- What’s covered by your insurance?
- Are you looking for a long-term solution?
- What’s your current dental health (how many teeth missing/any bone loss/etc?)
- What’s your budget?
In the vast majority of modern cases, dentists find that patients who are viable candidates for dental implants benefit greatly from veering towards this treatment. While the upfront costs and procedures can seem more daunting, the long-lasting gum and bone benefits on offer certainly see it coming up trumps most often.
Boston Dental knows the right treatment for you
Here at Boston Dental, we have extensive experience in both dentures and dental implants, and we promise to provide you with the best possible solutions, all implemented within our world-class, state-of-the-art dental facility. From the moment you arrive, our expert team, consisting of board-certified oral surgeons, cosmetic dentists, and more, will all work to exceed your expectations and provide your desired outcome, whatever that might be.
Enjoy these benefits and more by contacting our team today at 617-338-5000