According to a report by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, approximately 70% of the adults between 35-44 years old in the U.S. have at least one missing tooth.
Tooth loss can be stressful. Aside from the consequences to your health, you may also start to feel embarrassed about your smile.
Dental Implants vs. Traditional Dentures
Today, you have many good options to replace missing teeth. The most common tooth replacement options in North America are dental implants and dentures.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available — complete and partial dentures.
Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some of the natural teeth remain.
The problem with dentures is that they sometimes require terrible tasting dental adhesives to keep them in place. Often these adhesives are not very strong, and your dentures can shift while talking or eating. They can even slip out of your mouth, which can be very embarrassing.
A dental implant is a small titanium cylinder that is surgically placed into the jawbone. Once this heals, an abutment and crown is placed on top of the implant, which then looks and behaves just like a real tooth.
Dental implants are incredibly stable and long-lasting. They do not need to be removed for cleaning like dentures but instead, are just like real teeth that are brushed and flossed.
The ideal candidate for an implant is a non–smoker who has good oral health, as well as healthy gums and bone.
Single or multiple implants
If you are missing only one tooth, a single implant is a good option. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth).
If you have lost all your teeth (upper, lower, or both), a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants. These would also function just like a real set of teeth and allow you to smile, laugh, and eat like normal.
If your gums and jaws are in good condition, a dental implant will be a better option for you. If you maintain good oral hygiene, these can last for the rest of your life and are considered a permanent solution.
Important Factors to Consider when Making your Choice
If you already have dentures or might need dentures in the future, here are some important points to consider when deciding between dental implants and dentures:
1. Insurance Coverage
Dentures typically have some coverage under most major insurance plans. On the other hand, dental implants are considered to be cosmetic treatment, and we often only see partial coverage of the procedure.
When considering the durability, dental implants are the clear winner, as they can last a lifetime. Dental implants are currently the only option to replacing missing teeth that provide the same feel, look, and functionality of natural teeth.
Dentures will typically have to be replaced many times over the years. Because dentures are not fixed to the bone, they are not very stable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence.
Dental implants are also the clear winner when it comes to appearance. They look more natural, as if they are your own teeth, while dentures tend to look more bulky and artificial.
Implants are very easy to maintain, all you need to do is brush and floss, just like real teeth. On the other hand, you must remove and clean dentures every day, which is usually a nuisance for most people.
Making the Final Choice
Dental implants are the obvious choice for tooth replacement, as far as their look and durability. The only factor that keeps most people from getting implants is the cost.
The good news is that we offer many different ways to make dental implants an option for you. Our Patient Coordinator has many years of experience in arranging funding for even the most extensive and sophisticated treatment.
For some, a long-term payment plan through Care Credit is a good option. Others forego a new car or a family vacation in lieu of a longer lasting benefit.
Finally, in many cases, a treatment program can be broken into several phases, accomplishing the more serious needs first. It is not unusual to design a plan that is delivered and paid for over a period of several years.
Give us a call to find out more about our payment plans and options. You can call us at [phone] or email us at [email].