When a person has lost one or several teeth, it’s very important to fill in the gaps. If there’s missing teeth, our other teeth will shift to compensate for the gap, eventually causing problems. There are a couple of options available for missing teeth, dentures and dental implants. Although dentures are the more common option, dental implants are superior. Here’s why.
What are dentures and dental implants?
Dentures are simply a removable mouthpiece that is attached to the gums with denture adhesive. Known as false teeth, they take some getting used to. They can shift while eating or speaking, and can even cause tooth decay in the surrounding, healthy teeth if they are not fitted correctly.
Dental implants are false teeth that are non-removable. They’re installed surgically, and look natural. They don’t damage the surrounding teeth and tissue, and if they’re correctly cared for they’ll last for decades.
Why are dental implants better than dentures?
Dental implants have the edge over dentures for several reasons, the most important being that they don’t cause infection or tooth decay. If a partial denture is too small, it allows bigger food particles to get trapped between the teeth. This of course leads to the development of plaque and cavity-causing bacteria. If the dentures are too big, they can rub against adjacent teeth, eventually wearing down the enamel, and making it easier for cavities to develop .
Food particles and bacteria can also be trapped between the dentures and the gum line, especially if the dentures aren’t cleaned properly. This opens the door to other mouth infections or gum disease. Dentures are the better option only if people have a weak or unhealthy jaw and gums.
Dental implants are the ideal option for people with a healthy jaw and gums. Typically, dental implants are used to replace one or two missing teeth, however two or more implants can be used as a base for multiple replacement teeth. Dentists actually prefer implants as they provide a more comfortable, natural-looking option for people who need a replacement tooth.
The only bad news when it comes to dental implants is that they’re expensive, and some insurance providers won’t cover them. If this is a problem for you, talk with your dentist and see if they will use your denture allowance towards a dental implant. Some dentists will, some won’t, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
If you’re looking at replacing a missing tooth, set up an appointment in our office today! We’ll go over the options and get you squared away.