West Ashley Family Dentistry, a Charleston, SC dentist office, offers many options for replacement if you are missing teeth. Whenever possible, Dr. James Dickert and Dr. Agatha Lynn will recommend dental implants because the benefits of dental implant far outweigh those of dentures. Dental implants are the closest solution to your natural teeth if you are missing teeth. But the best treatment for you will depend on your personal oral health needs and cosmetic goals. Dr. Dickert or Dr. Lynn will evaluate your gums and teeth and present you with all of your treatment options. One of our expert dentists will explain the pros and cons of each treatment and how they will benefit you.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone beneath the gum line. This titanium post will act as the tooth root providing a strong foundation for the replacement tooth. Then the dentist will use that to attach a replacement tooth. Dental implants do not come loose like dentures and can last a lifetime if cared for properly along with regular dental visits.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are custom made artificial teeth used to replace missing teeth. They are not permanent meaning you can remove them and put them back in when needed. They are made in a dental lab with impressions of your mouth. Dentures take some time to get used and require a lot of care. Dentures will also need replaced or adjusted over time.
Dental Implants vs Dentures
- Cost – Dentures cost significantly less than dental implants up front. But dentures will also need replaced, realigned, or rebased over time. This cost can add up depending on the wear and tear. Dental implants cost more but are a permanent solution. If cared for properly, they will last forever.
- Appearance of smile and lower face – A face without teeth will appear sunken and can add years to your appearance. Both dentures and dental implants will help keep the natural shape of your face and lower jaw area. But dental implants look more like natural teeth when compared to dentures. Dental Implants can be colored matched to your natural teeth as well.
- Eating – Dentures will deliver about a 30-40% normal chewing function. Dental implants will deliver a 100% normal chewing function. The constant worry that your teeth may fall out while eating is not an issue with dental implants. Oftentimes, dentures may slip around or may not fit correctly leaving you with the worry of falling out.
- Fit – With dentures, you may need to apply a gooey adhesive every time you wear them to hold them in your mouth. With Dental implants, you won’t need to do this extra step because they are surgically implanted and can be treated like a normal tooth. Also, dentures may be a bit uncomfortable because they may cover a large portion of your mouth with plastic depending on the type of dentures you need. They may feel weird in your mouth and take some time to get used to because they are bulky.
- Bone loss associated with tooth loss – If you’re missing a tooth or multiple teeth, that void can cause bone loss and deterioration in your jawbone. Charleston, SC dentists, Dr. Dickert or Dr. Lynn, will recommend dental implants over dentures because they are the only option for missing teeth that stimulates the jaw bone which helps stimulate bone growth. This will prevent bone loss.
- Care – Dentures involve a lot of care. They must be brushed daily and can possibly break if dropped. You can never let your dentures dry out and that can be a constant worry especially when not wearing them. Dental implants require the same care as your natural teeth which will eliminate a lot of extra work. You can brush them and floss them without worry of damaging them.