If you have missing teeth you probably questioned: implants vs dentures, what is the best option for me? Missing teeth affect your overall well being by impacting your health and self esteem. Finding the best option to replace missing teeth is a healthy step in the right direction for your smile.
Quick Fact: There is no need to be ashamed if you are missing teeth. It is estimated that 178 million Americans are missing one tooth.
What Causes Missing Teeth?
- Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is the number one cause of tooth loss, accounting for 70% of missing teeth.
- 15-20% of adults (33-44 years old) have some form of gum disease. 30% of adults 65-74 years of age have no natural teeth.
- To learn more about the risks of gum disease check here, or visit our in-house Periodontist, Dr. Nicholas Yesbeck.
Risk Factors for Missing Teeth
- Poor mouth care resulting in multiple cavities
- Dry mouth caused by some medications
- High impact sports
- Smokers have a three times greater risk of gum disease than non-smokers
- Not flossing your teeth
- Poor nutrition
Did you know? Are you familiar with the famous story about George Washington having wooden teeth? George Washington suffered his fair share of dental problems but his dentures we never made of wood. They were, however, made from a variety of materials including ivory, gold, lead, and even (other) human teeth!
In modern times we use other methods to combat missing teeth. Most commonly dental implants vs dentures. Dental implants or dentures help restore the confidence and functionality of your smile.
Are Dental Implants or Dentures Necessary?
There is much to consider when discussing dental implants vs dentures. One may ask: are they even necessary. The answer is YES! Losing even a single back tooth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift. Teeth will move towards the open area. This affects the way you chew plus making it more difficult to clean this area.
Many feel embarrassed about missing teeth especially a front tooth. Smiling is such an important part of expressing ourselves and plays a key role in our happiness. Therefore, it is important to feel confident about your smile.
Can’t I just wait it out?
Nope, the longer you wait the harder it can be to replace a missing tooth. This is due to bone loss. The bone begins to recede simply because it has no tooth around applying a force to the bone. When you chew teeth hit other teeth this force transmits down to the bone helping to keep it healthy. Sometimes waiting results in so much bone loss a dental implant is not even possible. If you lose a tooth, seek dental assistants immediately.
Another key factor is the health of your gums. If gums are exposed it is easier for food and bacteria to get stuck in them. This puts you at higher risk for infection. Infection often leads to gum disease, which has been linked to a myriad of health conditions.
What to do if I’m missing most or all of my teeth?
Gone are the days of dentures being the only option to replace multiple missing teeth. Implant bridges can be installed the same day that natural teeth are removed.
Today, deciding between dental implants vs dentures is a personal choice. How do you decide what is best for you?
Implants vs Dentures
|Dentures Pros||Denture Cons|
|Removable||If not properly secured, they can slip out when speaking or eating|
|Full or partial sets||Can lead to infection if not fitted properly|
|Generally less expensive||Cleaned regularly|
|Freedom to remove them for any reason||Must be replaced if show signs of significant wear|
|Ideal for unhealthy or weak jaws|
|Implants Pros||Implants Cons|
|Permanent teeth replacements||Cost more than dentures|
|Save money over time|
|Easier to maintain and fewer dental visits|
|Never fall out or create awkward situations|
|More natural look|
In most cases implants are seen as a better option than dentures. While they may cost more upfront, over time they cost less because they serve as a permanent solution. If you would like to learn more about dental costs, please refer here.
We encourage you to consider your options. While weighing your options, it’s always a good idea to talk to your dentist. They can help you make the right decision and explain the differences in detail.
At Commonwealth Dentistry, our staff is happy to answer any of your questions and help you decide if dental implants or dentures are the right fit for you. We even offer same day appointments for your convenience.