When it comes to missing teeth, some people may think that dentures are their only option. However, there are a lot of great restorative options available to you if you ask your dentist. While every restorative option has its pros and cons, dental implants do have some distinct advantages over dentures that you may want to consider.
They Help You Prevent Bone Resorption
According to Colgate, your jawbones become stronger when they are under physical stress. When you chew food, that stress transfers through the tooth root, which stimulates the jawbone to create more osteoclasts, or bone cells.
However, if you are missing your teeth and their roots, then that stress cannot be transferred to the jawbone and new bone cells won't be formed. Instead, your jawbones may actually experience resorption — a process where the bone deteriorates. Patients with dentures experience resorption because the dental appliance sits atop the gums, and there's no tooth root to stimulate the bone underneath. Bone resorption can give your face a sunken appearance.
With dental implants, you are able to avoid resorption and maintain your jaw bone since the implant itself is embedded in your jawbone. The implant post acts as an artificial root and transfers stress to the bone so that new osteoclasts are formed.
They Are a Permanent Solution
With dentures, you'll have to remove the appliance each night and clean it. While some dentures lock into a clasp, others are held in with an adhesive. Because dentures aren't a permanent solution, it can be hard at first to eat and speak correctly.
Because implants are surgically implanted underneath the gumline, the jawbone heals around them and they don't ever have to be removed. The false tooth on top of the implant post is cemented (like a crown) or screwed into the post, so you can talk and chew without worrying about retention.
They Are Low-Maintenance
Again, with dentures, you have to take the appliance out each night and clean it thoroughly. This routine can be difficult to adjust to. If the dentures aren't cleaned properly or soaked in specialized solutions, they can dry out, crack, and carry infections like thrush. In fact, there is a common inflammatory condition called denture-related stomatitis which is caused by poor denture maintenance.
With implants, you don't have to worry about getting the right cleaning solution. You can brush and floss around the implant like you normally would with natural teeth.
Contact a dentist in your area to learn more about the benefits of implants and other restorative options.