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February 21, 2017
Tooth loss can be caused by many reasons including gum disease, injury, poor oral health or old age. Missing teeth can often cause people to feel insecure about their smile or experience severe discomfort, difficulty in eating and further problems with existing teeth. Fortunately, tooth-loss solutions have developed significantly in recent years and with so many options available, patients no longer need to suffer with missing teeth. Dental implants and dentures are two common treatments used to effectively replace lost or extracted teeth, but what is the best option for you? We look at some of the key advantages and disadvantages of both treatments, to help you decide.
If your decision relies heavily on cost, on the face of it, dentures seem to be a much more cost-effective tooth loss solution – particularly if you are looking to replace multiple teeth. A single tooth dental implant can cost anything from £2,000, whilst dentures can cost anything around the £500 mark.
Despite the significant price difference between the two treatments, in the long term dental implants may be the most cost-effective solution. Whilst dentures help to solve the aesthetic problem of missing teeth, and to a certain extent the functionality, they often become loose and food can get stuck behind them, causing potential problems with your remaining teeth. This could end up costing you a lot more money in dentistry bills further down the line. Dental implants however, are a one-off initial cost that could help you to save on dentistry bills later. When looked after properly, they can help to protect your remaining teeth and keep the shape of your jawline, making it a worthwhile investment. Lots of dental practices even have payment plans available for you to pay off the implant treatment in instalments, some with 0% finance options, making it much more affordable.
In terms of the initial fittings, dentures are much less invasive and a more comfortable solution. All they require is a pain-free impression of the teeth and gums to ensure that the dentures fit correctly. Dental implants require a more invasive surgical procedure, in which a titanium post is fixed to the bone. An artificial crown is then placed on top of the post to ensure you don’t have to walk around with a gap in your smile during the healing process. Titanium has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any natural metal and provides the perfect foundation for the crown. The bone and body tissue fuse around the Titanium posts just like real teeth. Once the healing process has been completed, impressions are taken and a permanent crown, specially designed and made for you at a dental lab, is fitted.
Dental implant patients rarely experience pain or discomfort with their dental implant and continue to use them just like real teeth. Whilst dentures are much more straightforward during the initial fitting, overtime they can start to become loose or ill-fitting, causing some patients to experience discomfort. That is why many people tend to opt for dental implants as a long-term solution, as they provide a comfortable and permanent alternative to real teeth.
A distinct advantage of dental implants is that they are much longer-lasting than dentures. Unlike any other tooth-loss solutions, when looked after correctly, implants can last a lifetime without depreciating in quality. The materials used to make the implants are high-quality and extremely durable, making them the ideal replacement for your teeth. Whilst dentures have significantly improved over the years in terms of materials, they still need to be replaced periodically due to gradual changes in the facial structure, overtime causing improper fitting. This can be a huge inconvenience which is why many people opt for dental implants as the preferable and longer-lasting option.
Over the years, dentures have significantly improved in appearance and dentists can now provide a much closer match in terms of gum ridge colouring and the quality of aesthetics. However, despite their more aesthetically pleasing appearance, because dentures only sit at the surface of the gum rather than at the root, as real teeth do, over time the jawline can start to recede, causing you to appear much older than you are.
Dental implants are made to look just like real teeth and can be shaped and coloured to match the rest of your teeth or to fit your specific requirements. Because they are surgically inserted into the bone to imitate the root of the tooth, they re-stimulate the jawline, preventing the bone beneath from receding and helping patients to maintain a more youthful appearance.
Maintenance is a key consideration with tooth replacement options. Dental implants require very little additional care other than the necessary aftercare appointments with your dentist and your usual teeth-cleaning routine. Dentures, however, must be regularly removed and cleaned efficiently, otherwise food build-up can cause issues with your teeth and gums. For some people, this can seem like a lot of up keep, particularly as wearing dentures means that you are more at risk of bacterial build-up and even infection.
Missing teeth can really affect your confidence and in lots of cases, your ability to eat certain foods. This can have a significant impact on your quality of life and very often, people can become too embarrassed to go to social events due to unsightly gaps in their teeth or their inability to enjoy meals without difficulty. Both dentures and dental implants can help with this issue to a certain extent, however in this case, dental implants are a much better option.
Whilst dentures help to solve the aesthetic problem of tooth loss, eating tougher foods like red meat or raw vegetables can be difficult and can sometimes cause the dentures to become loose. Smaller foods like nuts and seeds can also get stuck behind the dentures and if left uncleaned, this can cause unwanted bacteria to grow in the gums. Dental implants, however, can replace the teeth with the exact same functionality as real teeth. Inserted directly into the jaw bone, they act just like an authentic tooth and will not come loose when eating tough or chewy foods. They even have the same appearance as real teeth, helping patients to regain their confidence and providing a much better quality of living.
If you would like to discuss the different dental treatment options in more detail, just get in touch with one of our friendly team at Ten Implant Centre and we will be happy to offer our advice.
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