Tooth loss occurs due to various reasons – decay and infection, fracture, accidents, gum disease, to name a few. Tooth loss has a negative impact on various aspects - facial appearance, chewing efficiency, and overall nutrition. The attempts to restore the lost tooth have led to various advancements from removable dentures to cast partial dentures to fixed dentures to implants.
Listed below are features (covering advantages and disadvantages) of both dentures (fixed and removable) and implants. While dentures can be complete or partial, implants are more often partial, of course, can be used to replace multiple teeth. A detailed discussion with your dentist along with oral and radiographic examination will help in making a decision.
Replaces tooth but more for cosmetic reasons than function.
Poor chewing efficiency.
Useful when multiple teeth are to be replaced, especially when no adjacent teeth are available for support.
If good bone support is not available, retention is an issue.
Not very healthy for the underlying jaw bone and adjacent gums.
Requires daily and routine maintenance.
Also called as bridges, as the artificial replaced tooth is a bridge between two natural teeth.
Requires removal of sound tooth structure as abutment (support). This is the major disadvantage with fixed dentures, which promoted further work from the dentists, ending up with discovery of implants.
Promotes tooth decay in the adjacent teeth.
Good support, so retention is not an issue.
Not as harmful to the underlying jaw bone as a removable denture.
Requires maintenance but not like the removable denture.
Expensive compared to removable dentures.
Replacing a bridge also means the adjacent healthy teeth are affected.
Very good replacement alternative, replaces not just the crown structure but also the root structure.
An excellent option when the jaw bones and gums are extremely in good condition.
Almost natural restoration of both chewing efficiency and facial appearance, the person can eat almost anything.
Not as harmful on the gums like dentures.
Does not cause bone loss like dentures.
Can be used to replace single or multiple teeth, where multiple implants are placed and a bridge is placed over them.
The titanium screws that are used fuse with the jaw bone over a period of time.
The titanium is also biocompatible, thereby reducing chances of allergy.
Implants are expensive, and many insurance companies may not cover them.
If properly fabricated and maintained well, then it can last for decades.
The decision to go for a denture or for an implant should be decided based on a detailed evaluation of overall health and if required radiographic examination. Both dentures and implants have advantages and disadvantages, and the dentist will help make the right choice.
Dental implants are titanium posts which resemble the root of the tooth. These posts are embedded in the jawbone below the gums. This makes it easy to place missing bridge or teeth of the area where inserted. Implants are different from dentures and benefit oral health as they are not fastened to other teeth like the bridges. Titanium is considered to have an affinity with bones and also when the new cells grow they attach to the post, thereby, making a strong bond.
Factors to Consider For Oral Implants
For consideration of implants, it is a must that one should have healthy gums and sufficient bone support. In case the bone is soft and thin a bone graft might be required to support the implant. Also, if in the upper jaw the bone height is not much or the sinuses are near the jaw then a sinus lift might be required.
One has to undergo surgery to get replacements through dental implants and this fact is enough to give jitters to people. The fact is that implant surgery is just a routine procedure and is very successful if done in the correct manner and by trained hands.
Reasons Not To Worry About Implant Surgery
1. Procedure is planned: This surgery is a minor operation as all the details are usually plotted prior to the procedure. In case of complex conditions, Ct imaging or x-rays are used to locate the positions for the implants. Surgical guides can also be used to generate passages and incisions for the placement of the implants.
2. Surgery can be done under local anesthesia: If a person has a healthy mouth then there is no problem for an implant surgery as it is much easier as compared to an extraction. When performed under local anesthesia then only the implant site and the tissues close to it are numb. Some people who suffer from anxiety can request their dentist anti-anxiety medication or a sedative to make them calmer.
3. Minimal post-surgery discomfort: A pre-planned procedure and advanced technique leads to less tissue disruption. Also, the tissues which are incised are stitched together with absorbable sutures. Post-surgery a NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), such as aspirin is enough to relieve discomfort. In some cases, strong pain relievers might be required.
The implant heals very quickly and the success rate of dental implants is almost 90-97%. After some days of the bone integration, dentist fixes a permanent crown which provides the same functions as that offered by the natural tooth. A successful implant is sure to give a confident smile and functions for a long time.
A dental implant is a titanium post which mimics the root of the tooth and it’s surgically positioned into your jawbone beneath the gum line. After the implant is positioned, your dentist mounts replacement teeth or a bridge to replace a tooth or teeth that have fallen off, into that area.
Implants are a very useful new way to replace teeth that have been lost due to ageing, gum disease or trauma.
The options which were earlier available to replace missing teeth were an ordinary bridge which was attached to teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth.
Because implants fuse to the jawbone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. This means dentures and bridges mounted to implants don’t slip or shift in your mouth. This helps you eat and speak normally.
This secure fit also makes the dentures and bridges mounted over implants feel more natural than bridges or dentures.
Some people can’t get ordinary bridges and dentures because of sore spots, poor ridges or gagging and for them, implants are a heaven send.
Should you get implants?
You can only get implants if you must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. If your bone is too thin or soft you may have to get a bone graft first.
You should also be committed to keeping your implants healthy. For this, you should be committed to meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits as these will ensure the long-term success of your dental implants.
Two types of implants are considered safe by the American Dental Association. They are:
Missing teeth is a common issue and finding the best solution for patients is our goal. Dental implants are a permanent replacement of tooth roots. They are made of titanium and are attached to the jaw bone. Dental implants can be used to replace one or more teeth. They are also used in conjunction with dental bridges and dentures.