As adults, we must make decisions every single day. From the clothes we wear when we get up to go to work to the food we’ll eat for dinner each night, it’s a never-ending cycle of choices that must be made. It’s no different when faced with replacing missing teeth. You know it’s necessary, but how do you know which type of treatment is best? Dentures have been around since the days of George Washington (or older), but dental implants in Virginia Beach seem to be a more superior option. To help in your decision-making process, read on to learn more about each restorative treatment and how they differ.
What Are Dentures?
If you’ve ever seen elderly people on television or in movies, it’s likely that if their character wears dentures, their face looks sunken and they’re constantly fumbling with their false teeth. Fortunately, this isn’t the reality of dentures nowadays. Proven to be a viable, stable option for patients with missing teeth, you can receive full or partial dentures depending on how many teeth need to be replaced.
Using a gum-colored base, artificial teeth are secured onto the acrylic mouthpiece. They are designed to look completely natural and fit comfortably over your gums. A top denture will cover the entire roof of your mouth while a bottom denture is shaped like a horseshoe to make enough room for your tongue.
What Are Dental Implants?
Patients who are looking for more of a permanent fixture can find it with dental implants. Your dentist in Virginia Beach can surgically place multiple implants, which are made of titanium, into your jawbone. This not only stimulates your bone to keep it from weakening, but it also ensures a stable foundation for your custom restoration, whether it is an implant bridge or an implant-retained denture.
Dental implants are considered much sturdier and longer-lasting, but there are various factors that must be considered prior to your dentist giving you the green light for implants, such as:
- Your overall oral health
- The health of your jawbone
- You don’t smoke
- Your overall health and well-being are in good shape
How Are They Different?
Since you’re still trying to decide which method is right for you, here are a few ways these two restorative treatments are different:
- Permanence: You will be extremely lucky if your dentures last 10 years before needing a replacement. Over time, your face will change, and they will need to be relined or readjusted until finally, it’ll be time to replace them altogether. Dental implants can last 20 years or longer before being considered for a replacement.
- Stability: Dentures only sit on top of the gums and replicate the look of your smile; however, dental implants actually restore the tooth’s structure with the implant continuing to stimulate the jawbone.
- Functionality: With dentures, there is an adjustment phase that all patients go through that makes it a bit difficult to eat, chew, or speak. With implants, there is still a small adjustment period, but your ability to do normal, daily activities will be much easier.
- Add-Ons: Dental implants do not require any special equipment to clean or keep them in place, but dentures wearers often purchase dental adhesives to keep their dentures from slipping as well as a denture cleaner to soak them in overnight.
- Cost: Dentures are a much more affordable option, while dental implants are more costly; however, because they last longer, patients often view them as a better investment.
No matter which option you choose, you can feel good knowing your smile is in good hands. Your dentist will make sure you are happy with the look and feel of your new smile, and as long as you take proper care of it, you’ll be enjoying your new look for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Amrish Patel moved to the United States and attended Boston University, graduating with his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 2011. Since then, he has earned hundreds of continuing education credits in dental implants, endodontics, and cosmetic dentistry. Prior to joining Lakeshore Dental, he served in the United States Army as an Active Duty Army Officer. He completed his time in the military as a Captain. Dr. Patel and his colleague, Dr. Cruser, are passionate about helping restore the smiles of their patients, offering both dentures and dental implants are reliable methods of treatment. To learn more about our practice and services, contact us via our website or call (757) 490-3111.