Missing teeth are not only unhealthy for your mouth. They can also impact your overall health and self-esteem.
If you’re missing teeth, there’s no reason to be ashamed. Tooth loss is fairly common, not just for the elderly but younger individuals as well. Nearly 70% of adults aged 35 to 44 years have at least one missing tooth, and 1 in 4 people over the age of 74 are missing all of their teeth.
According to the History Channel, our forefathers used to replace missing teeth with dentures made from a combination of rare hippopotamus ivory, human bone and metal fasteners. Fortunately, we have better options available today.
Dental implants and dentures can help restore confidence in your smile and keep your mouth healthy. If you’re having trouble deciding, we’re sharing the benefits and drawbacks of each option:
Are dental implants or dentures even necessary?
First things first, do you even need dental implants or dentures? This is a good question to ask before taking the plunge and deciding between the two.
Your confidence can take a hit when you’re missing teeth, but that’s not the only reason you should consider dental implants or dentures. Missing teeth can affect your health more than you realize.
When gums are exposed, it’s easy for food and bacteria to get stuck in them. And, if these food bits and bacteria aren’t removed, they could lead to nasty infections. Infection is often followed by gum disease, which has been linked to both heart disease and diabetes.
Missing teeth affect the structure of your jaw as well. Your missing tooth’s next door neighbors may try to fill the gap by shifting to cover for your lost soldier. This tooth shift can have a domino effect. As your teeth move, your jawbone shifts over time and your mouth structure becomes more unstable. All of the above can lead to tooth decay and losing even more teeth.
Now you know some form of tooth replacement is necessary, how can you tell which is right for you?
Are dentures right for you?
Dentures are removable teeth replacements that come in a full set or partial set. They’re most popular for those who are missing sets of teeth rather than just one here or there.
Dentures have come a long way over the centuries. In 700BC, Etruscans in Northern Italy used human or animal teeth to replace missing teeth. With advancements in technology, dentures today look more natural than ever.
Dentures are less expensive than dental implants, and they give you the freedom to remove them throughout the day for any reason. They’re an ideal option for anyone with unhealthy or weak jaws.
Dentures aren’t for everyone, though. If not secured with denture adhesive, they can slip out of place while eating or speaking. Dentures can also lead to infection or tooth decay if they’re not fitted properly. They also need to be cleaned regularly or replaced if they show signs of significant wear.
How do dental implants measure up?
Dental implants are permanent teeth replacements, and they’ve become a popular alternative to dentures over the past few years. While they cost more than dentures, they last longer and save you money over time. Dental implants lead to fewer visits to the dentist because they’re easier to maintain compared to dentures.
With dental implants, you never have to worry about them falling out while speaking or laughing in social situations. Also, they feel more comfortable and look more natural than dentures. If you want to feel like you’ve never lost a tooth in the first place, dental implants are your best option!
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 West Chester Dental Arts, 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. Contact us here!