If you are living with tooth loss, especially mass tooth loss, you will probably be considering a replacement – the most popular of which are dental implants and dentures.
But what are dental implants and dentures, and which option is best for you?
Read on to find out more about each treatment so you can make the right decision for yourself.
Dental implants are a permanent solution designed to replace teeth that are loose or lost.
While each type of dental implant can differ depending on the brand and manufacturer – most are made up of three parts:
The dental implant is inserted into the upper or lower jaw, where the missing tooth is located, and topped with an abutment. This is then left to heal and bond with the jawbone – in a process called osseointegration.
Once solidly integrated with the jawbone, the abutment is capped with a visible prosthetic tooth which can be coloured to match the remaining teeth, giving patients a complete and natural-looking smile once more.
Dental implants in Swindon can be used in many different ways to help patients of all types:
Dental implants come with a range of benefits that make them popular, with around 260,000 cases of implant fitting per year, according to dentistry.co.uk. This is because they:
Limitations of dental implants
Dental implants, however, are not without limitations, which include:
Dentures, on the other hand, are a non-surgical, removable alternative for patients with tooth loss.
Sometimes called false teeth, dentures are commonly made from shaped acrylics, plastics, ceramics, and metals, designed to mimic the appearance and structure of natural teeth.
Each denture arch replaces either the upper or lower arch of teeth and is shaped to fit over the existing jawbone and gum through a process of dental measurement and impressions or moulds.
This then encourages each denture to fit snugly into the mouth, giving patients the ability to eat, communicate, and smile again.
Dentures in Swindon generally come in two varieties:
False teeth do not involve any surgical fitting and can be used without a healing period – though patient-specific advice should be sought regarding how long you should wear your dentures each day.
According to NHS data, around 6% of UK adults wear full dentures (around 4, 064, 208 people) and 13% of adults wear some form of partial denture (around 8, 805, 784 people). This is generally because:
Dentures are also not without issue. They can be seen as a less effective option because they:
So, which is best? How do we decide between dental implants vs dentures?
Unhelpfully, the best choice depends on the individual patient and what is important to them – be it a smaller upfront cost, best fit, or improved functionality.
If you are concerned with replacing missing teeth as quickly as possible with minimal financial output, dentures will probably be the best option for you – as they require significantly less financial output in the beginning and can replace a whole jaw in as little as a few weeks.
It is important to bear in mind, however, that this reduced upfront cost will likely become more expensive as the years progress, as your dentures will likely need replacing every 5-7 years.
Fit and functionality go hand-in-hand, so the best fit will also create the best functionality.
If you are more concerned with the most comfortable fit and increased functionality that mimics natural teeth, then dental implants are likely to be best for you.
As they replace individual teeth in the jaw with a prosthesis that’s a similar shape and size as your natural teeth, dental implants help your jawbone retain bone mass and maintain your face shape.
This gives dental implants a natural fit and reduces discomfort to the minimum – generally limited to a few days after implant surgery.
It also means that eating, drinking, and communicating will be as easy and natural as when you had your original teeth – without compromise.
Dentures, on the other hand, can go from one extreme to the other – from fitting incredibly well just after impressions are taken and the denture is created, to fitting poorly after a few years as you lose bone mass and your jawbone shape changes.
This changing fit can result in slippage in the mouth, making eating and talking more complicated and creating sores within the mouth, generally on the palate and gums.
Whether you think dentures or dental implants are best for you or you have no idea – we can help.
We frequently consult with patients who are well-read and have fully researched these options as well as those who are at the beginning of their tooth replacement journey. In all cases, we create bespoke treatment plans to give patients proper dental function and a beautiful even smile again.
If you would like help with this, you can arrange a consultation by calling us on 01672 516 184. Alternatively, send us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can with a range of dates and times to choose an appointment that’s convenient for you.