Restoring a smile impacted by disease, trauma or simple wear and tear means finding the right balance between appearance and functionality. And making the decision between options can be impacted by other factors, such as cost over time, and durability.
Traditional dentures have many benefits, and ultimately help patients recover some of the activities affected by tooth loss. However, implant-retained dentures offer significant results in aesthetics, function and health.
Dentures are affordable dental appliances that restore basic chewing function and require less upfront investment than the implant supported counterpart. There is minimal time spent prepping the area and most patients qualify for full or partial arches. However, traditional dentures require adhesives and will need to be adjusted and/or replaced which continuously adds to the initial investment over time.
While traditional dentures do replace teeth, they do not prevent bone loss. Dentures sit on top of the gum and shift as the bone loss causes changes in the shape of the mouth. Over time, bone quantity shrinks and the structure deteriorates causing changes in the appearance of the mouth and face. When this happens, it is necessary to have new denture plates made.
Dentures are temporarily fixed to the gums using denture creams and adhesives, rather than permanently fixed. This can cause issues such as dentures slipping or moving out of place – even popping out of the mouth, entirely. Progress in dental technology and adhesives have resulted in some improvements being made, so patients are always encouraged to talk about all the options available to them before choosing the denture option they feel is best for them.
Dental Implant Retained Dentures
Implants are known as “long-term” tooth-replacement options because they are durable and are permanently placed within the jaw bone. That means that the initial upfront investment is more than traditional dentures, but the long-term savings makes up for it. Dental implants do not require frequent repairs or replacements, they require less chair time to restore the denture plates and prevent bone degeneration for improved oral health over the long-term.
Implants are a result of advances in dental technology; they are titanium posts that function as prosthetic roots. Because the posts fuse with existing bone, they offer a stable anchor for new dentures and crowns. The various components – posts, abutments and dentures – are firmly fitted into the mouth in line with the mouth structure. This means implant retained dentures not only stay in place, but they also protect the integrity of the facial structure.
Implant retained dentures function like natural teeth – patients can eat without restrictions and bite using their natural bite pressure. The jaw bone is stimulated, which encourages damaged tissue to regenerate, maintains healthy bone, and protects the mouth structure from further deterioration. Patients will not have to worry about their dentures slipping throughout the day.
Although both traditional dentures and implant supported dentures are popular choices for replacing teeth, it’s always best to discuss all treatment options with your dentist. With a thorough exam, Dr. Cory Bailey will determine whether or not someone is a good candidate for implants, or if traditional dentures would better suit their lifestyle and dental wellbeing.