It happens to a lot of people over the course of their lives. They may wind up losing teeth for a variety of reasons, ranging from an accident to gum disease due to neglect or genetics. Whatever the case, they need to have the gap(s) filled, since trying to leave the space unattended will result in having the remaining teeth shift. This happens because one’s jawbone does not like having empty space. Due to the shift, this can create problems with biting, chewing and talking. Also, since there is nothing pushing back, one’s cheeks will look sunken in.
Thus, they can fix this in a variety of ways, but oftentimes the choice comes down to dentures or dental implants. Both of them remain very popular to this day… and both have their benefits and drawbacks. It’s an important decision, and a lot of research should be done before giving either the final thumbs-up.
Depending on how many teeth there are, people can option to have full or partial dentures. The dentures are removable – which is necessary due to people having to brush them daily and then soak them overnight. There is usually a learning curve behind them, especially for people who are getting them for the first time.
The main thing that takes getting used to is that they can shift in the mouth. First-time wearers have to learn how to properly hold them in when talking or eating. They may find that they have to chew on one side of their mouth, for example. Food choices may be limited. This is why dentists may have them wear them all the time for a short time afterwards before shifting to the nighttime removal. They still have to be brushed, though, with a special toothpaste made for dentures. Regular toothpaste may be too abrasive.
The overnight soaking is vital to denture maintenance. This is done in a special formula – just leaving them in a glass of water won’t work. The formula keeps the dentures sterile and also prevents them from drying out. It’s imperative
A problem that people have had is that they find the dentures become loose and ill-fitting. They may try to soldier through this. This is the wrong approach, since those same dentures can wind up cutting the gums and causing an infection. Ill-fitting dentures are just plain painful and uncomfortable overall.
Dentures have to be handled very carefully. They can be broken a lot easier than people might suspect. That’s why people need to store them in a safe place and hold them like the fragile things they are – they can break even from a short fall. Stores may have temporary repair kits, but a professional is always needed to either do the repair or ultimately replacement.
Speaking of replacements, no matter the care put into it, dentures have a shelf life of about 10 years at most. Then it’s time to have another set made.
Dental implants are a more fixed, permanent option. What happens is that a dentist or specialist will determine that the patient is a good candidate for dental implants. Not everyone can get them. They need to have enough bone mass in the jaw to support the implant. If not, even after an attempt with bone grafting is done, then they may have to go the denture route.
Once the dentist is satisfied that the implant can be supported, they clean the area around the missing tooth and insert a screw into the jaw. The jawbone and screw fuse together in a process called osseointegration. That’s why the mass of the jawbone is so important – too little mass and the screw won’t fuse. This takes a few weeks to a month. Then an abutment is put in and allowed to fuse. Afterwards,the replacement tooth is put in.
What patients tend to like about the implant is that it acts like a natural tooth. They never have to remove it and can brush and floss. When it comes to eating, they can usually resume the same diet that they had beforehand, though some harder foods might be off-limits. The replacement tooth is durable, but not indestructible. They also can last up to 25 years, which is much longer than dentures.
Weighing the Two
Besides the jawbone mass issue, another sticking point might be the price. Yes, dental implants are more expensive than dentures… but that’s not taking into account the other factors, like not having extra care to do, having a more limited food menu, or not having to adjust to speaking with them. If finances are a concern, patients can talk to their dentist about financing.
Ultimately, it comes down to what the patient is comfortable with. This is an important decision. Hopefully, this has been some help in possibly guiding down the right path.
When it comes to either, the staff at Acadia Dental & Dentures can help with either dentures or dental implants. Whatever the choice, they will make sure everything goes smoothly. Call them at either their Hagerstown office – 301-797-2538 or their Frederick one: 301-662-1760.
Acadia Dental and Dentures
1303 Pennsylvania Ave.
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: (301) 797-2538
490 Prospect Blvd.
Frederick, MD 21701
Phone: (301) 662-1760