Tooth loss can cause significant problems — in addition to being aesthetically unappealing, the condition also makes it hard to chew food and could cause speech impediments. If you are missing teeth, you have options for dealing with the issue. A dentist might suggest dentures or dental implants, depending on your needs.
While each is an effective solution for tooth loss, dentures and dental implants differ in significant ways. The team at Leidenheimer Dental Group in Elyria, OH, understands both options and explains important variations and the best candidates for each procedure.
Dentures are a removable set of false teeth held in place by a specialized adhesive. They recreate the look and function of natural teeth, and patients who choose this option can speak and eat comfortably while wearing them, provided they have the proper fit.
To create dentures, a dentist must remove all teeth from a patient’s mouth. Once the jaw and gums have healed, the dentist will take impressions to create a mold for the dentures. After 2–3 weeks, the dentures are finished and ready to wear. Although they can be worn during normal activities, they should be removed for sleeping and cleaning.
Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth. A dental implant is anchored by a titanium post implanted in a patient’s jawbone. Over 3–6 months, the post will fuse with the bone, and it will be topped with a permanent dental crown that resembles your existing teeth. This technique also can replace several teeth in a row by using a dental bridge.
Once in place, a dental implant can be treated like a natural tooth. Care includes regular brushing and flossing, although a dentist should check it during your biannual exams. Since the implant fuses with the jawbone, it’s unlikely to shift or become dislodged.
How to Choose the Right Option
Your dentist will decide which tooth loss solution is best for your needs and oral health. Dentures often are recommended for patients who are missing a large number of teeth or have inadequate jawbone tissue to support an implant. Dental implants are ideal for patients who are missing only a few teeth and have healthy gums and strong jaws.
If you are missing teeth, visit Leidenheimer Dental Group to receive an evaluation and determine whether dental implants or dentures are right for you. Call (440) 324-3441 to schedule an appointment and visit their website for more information about the procedures and services offered by their dentists, including root canals and wisdom teeth removal. Like them on Facebook for more oral health tips.