Are Dental Implants Better Than Dentures?
Tooth loss can be caused by a variety of factors like poor oral hygiene, gum disease, calcium deficiency and trauma. This can make patients lose their confidence, as it will be hard to smile and talk to people without worrying about what your mouth must look like. Luckily, a partially or completely endentulous (toothless) person can always have dentures made.
What Is a Denture?
This is a removable dental prosthesis that can be used to simulate natural teeth. It can either be partial or complete. A partial denture is used when one or more natural teeth are still present. A full or complete denture is used when all the teeth are missing. The denture is composed of a base that is colored to match the gum tissue and false teeth or typodonts, which resemble the patient’s natural dentition. The base may have wire clasps to help the appliance hold on to remaining teeth.
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Complete and Partial Dentures
A complete denture will be necessary when all the patient’s teeth are damaged and have to be extracted. After the teeth of a patient are removed, an immediate denture can be put in place. They are made in advance so that the patient does not have to worry about aesthetics after the extraction procedure. This serves as a temporary appliances, as this will loosen in time, owing to the fact that the bones still need time to resorb and the inflammation has to dissipate to get the best fit. These are replaced with conventional (permanent) dentures after 8 to 12 weeks.
A partial denture acts as a space filler. It prevents tooth drifting and malocclusion, which can occur when an area has been edentulous for an extended period of time. A fixed bridge is cemented onto an area to simulate natural dentition. Please note that the dentist may have to sacrifice the adjacent teeth and make crowns to keep the denture in place. This is preferred to the use of metal clasps due to aesthetic purposes. It will also lessen the chance of trauma to the adjacent dentition.
Can I Have Dental Implants Installed Instead?
Implants are preferred by many dentists because they look and feel like natural teeth. They do not loosen in time, unlike dentures. In fact, dental implants can stay in place for about 25 to 40 years. Dental implants are attached to the alveolar bone with the help of a titanium screw. This acts like a root and can be put in place in a dental clinic.
Dentists highly recommend the use of implants to substitute teeth in the lower jaw, as dentures can rock back and forth if the alveolar bone of a patient has inadequate width or height. In some cases, they can be used to anchor dentures in place. However, not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure. If a patient has untreated diabetes or heart disease, he or she would be better off with a denture.
Individuals who smoke are poor candidates as well, as the habit can cause vasoconstriction, which will lessen the blood supply to the area. People with untreated periodontal disease should wait until their condition is resolved before getting dental implants.
When choosing an oral prosthesis for a patient, Dr. Hauser has to consider a lot of factors. Medical history, oral hygiene and the area of concern are considered before a treatment plan is decided. If you would like to know more about your prosthetic options and discuss dental implant options, please call (951) 244-9495 to schedule a consultation.