Missing one or more teeth is more common in adults than you may realize. Throughout our daily routines, we put our teeth through a lot of wear and tear. While good oral hygiene habits minimize the chances of losing teeth due to several dental concerns, individuals may experience missing teeth from a variety of causes, including the following:
- Gum disease
- Broken, cracked, or damaged teeth
- Injury to jaw or teeth
- Tooth decay
In a previous post, we discussed the serious health concerns and dental complications caused from missing teeth, including tooth decay, gum disease, and jaw bone loss. With so many tooth-replacement options available like dentures and dental implants, there’s no reason you must expose yourself to such serious health concerns.
To help you navigate your options, here is a brief comparison between two of the most popular teeth replacements, so you can head into your next Dakota Dental appointment feeling more confident and prepared to make a decision that best suits your needs and preferences:
Dental Implants vs. Dentures
Dental implants are the most durable, long-lasting tooth-replacement option available to patients, as they use titanium implant posts that are drilled into the jaw bone. When the jaw heals, it fuses to the implant post, creating a durable support for dental crowns. Our patients at Dakota Dental love dental implants for their many advantages:
Implants can help preserve the jawbone and any remaining teeth, as the titanium posts mimic teeth roots.
Depending on your dental needs, you can have a single-tooth dental implant, multiple-teeth implants, or full-mouth implants. They’re the most individualized replacement option for patients.
Dental implants are low maintenance and easy to clean, requiring the same oral hygiene needs as natural teeth (i.e. brushing, flossing, etc.). Because it’s a permanent dental device, there’s no additional step to remove and clean separately!
Dental implants look, feel, and act much like natural teeth, and the implant’s jaw support creates a strength and durability that’s unparalleled in other dental prosthetics. Many patients even forget they have dental implants because they’re effortlessly comfortable.
Because of their stability, all dental implants, from single-tooth implants to full dental implants, won’t impact your speaking or eating, much like other dental prosthetics.
Depending largely on how well you care for your oral health and dental implants, they can last upwards of 25 years, according to AZ Family Dental!
While dental implants are impressive teeth-replacement options for many, the lengthy process may deter some patients, as dental implants usually require multiple minimally invasive surgical procedures with ample healing time between appointments. Dental implants also require sufficient healthy jawbone support to appropriately adopt the implant post(s), so implants may not be best suited for those with a weakened jawbone due to various reasons (e.g. smoking, underlying medical condition, etc.). In some cases, your Dakota Dental team may advise bone grafting to reinforce your jawbone strength, which’ll likely delay the implant process.
Dental implants may not be an option for every individual, as they require a higher upfront cost than dentures; however, because they’re built to last, the initial investment is often comparable when looking long term, as other dental prosthetics may require relatively frequent replacements. For more information about our professional implant dentistry services or to see if dental implants are an appropriate teeth-replacement option for you, talk with your Dakota Dental team during your next appointment!
In terms of affordability, dentures are considerably the most cost-effective teeth replacement. While perhaps the most common denture option is removable complete dentures, there are also partial dentures available for those who don’t require full-mouth replacements. Removable dentures replace missing teeth with false teeth that are designed to use your lower gum and upper palate ridge as support to hold them in place.
Though an initially affordable option, dentures aren’t considered long lasting, and they often require replacing after several years. Many patients are also concerned about the potential drawbacks associated with dentures:
- Eating with dentures can be challenging at times, as there are restrictions on what foods can cause damage to the dentures.
- Dentures require additional upkeep outside of your oral hygiene routine in order to ensure bacteria doesn’t build up. While typically a simple routine, these frequent additional measures do deter some patients.
- Because dentures are removable, they can move around and rub on your gums as you eat and speak, especially without the use of denture adhesives, which can be painful, irritating, or frustrating.
While dentures may come with some disadvantages, they have remained a viable option for many patients. If uncomfortable fittings or shifting dentures is your primary concern, ask your Dakota Dental team about what denture services may address these common issues, like denture stabilization or mini-dental implants.
What is the Best Option for Replacing Missing Teeth?
Every patient’s situation is different, and your best tooth-replacement option depends on your unique oral health needs and goals. At Dakota Dental, we believe in a personalized approach to dentistry and offer comprehensive dental services to meet the needs of every patient, including several teeth-replacement options like All-On-Four® Dental Implants, full-mouth implants, bridges, and complete or partial dentures. Whatever your needs are, our team of dental specialists can help you restore your smile and strengthen your oral health.
For more information on which tooth-replacement option is best for you, contact us today, or schedule your consultation where one of our Dakota Dental specialists will listen to your needs and concerns, assess your oral health, and create an individualized treatment plan, recommending what teeth-replacement service(s) best suits your needs, goals, and budget!