If you’re living with the embarrassment, pain, and misery that is brought on by teeth that have been lost due to injury or disease, you’re probably trying to weigh your options to determine how you should best address it.
In our Baytown, TX office, we offer all the possible solutions for missing teeth, including dentures and bridges, which are the more conventional treatments, and we also offer dental implants.
Dental implants are a revolution in dentistry. When it comes to lost teeth, dental implants will permanently restore your smile, get your self-confidence back to normal, and eliminate the painful effects of lost teeth, such as:
- Pain and difficulty eating and chewing
- Difficulty speaking properly
- Increased chance of infection due to damaged teeth, sustained because of increasingly poor alignment of the jaw
- Teeth that move out of position, thanks to the room created by the gaps lost teeth cause
- Loss of bone density (which is already likely degraded due to gum disease, which chances are is the reason for your tooth loss; gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the US)
How Does A Dental Implant Work?
Dental implants, unlike bridges and dentures, are permanent; under normal circumstances, a dental implant will last you the rest of your life! This is because dental implants are surgically placed in your mouth, directly into your jaw and under the gums. Because getting dental implants is a major surgical procedure, you’ll need to meet certain health requirements. Your dentist will help you understand these requirements, whether you meet them, and if they can be addressed so that you can get dental implants afterward.
However, if you can get dental implants, they are your best bet, because they don’t have the usual drawbacks that are associated with dentures and dental bridges.
The Difference Between “Permanent” and Permanent
Dental bridges are considered permanent because you cannot remove them yourself. However, permanent is a bit of a misnomer, because dental bridges require frequent replacement, usually every 5 to 7 years. Many people consider dental bridges (and especially dentures) a better choice than dental implants on a “cost” basis, but when you consider that you’ll need to replace both dentures and dental bridges frequently throughout your life (to ensure that you have proper functioning in your jaws, gums, and teeth), this advantage disappears.
Problems (Such as Infection) Caused By Dentures and Bridges
Dentures and dental bridges are also problematic in that they create the opportunity for infection.
Dentures require an exact fit to work properly. Instead of being bonded or surgically attached to you, dentures are removable; this is needed for keeping them sufficiently clean and as free of bacteria as possible (if you don’t keep your dentures clean, there are a number of diseases and problems you will encounter).
Dentures stay in place by interacting correctly with your teeth, and your oral tissues. If the positions or shape of these tissues changes, the fit is lost, and usually it won’t naturally “come back”. Even weight loss can cause enough changes in your mouth to make your dentures ineffective!
We are all familiar with how embarrassing it can be when your dentures fall out; they tend to do it at precisely the wrong time. What most people don’t know is that dentures, even when they are kept very clean, can invite disease. Poorly fitting dentures rub up against your remaining teeth and your oral tissues; this can create sores, which are perfect entry points for bacteria and disease.
Bridges don’t fair much better, especially when compared to dental implants. While bridges are fixed in your mouth and require less maintenance than dentures, they can cause serious infections. When a bridge is placed, it requires that the abutment teeth (which are on both sides of the gap) get two crowns, which support the bridge. This often requires that your healthy teeth be filed down to make room for the bridge. This eliminates your enamel, which is your first and best line of defense against infection, and it doesn’t grow back.
Are You Thinking About Dental Implants?
Then come into our office and have a consultation! Your dentist will help you learn what solution is best for you and help you to understand all your options fully so that you can make the best decision for your health.