When it comes to missing teeth, there are several options available to patients who are looking to have those absent teeth replaced. But one dental treatment might be better for you than another. But then again, dentures and dental implants can also be used in conjunction with each other. With this in mind, it’s important that you know what each one is, how they’re fitted and what they can offer and that’s exactly what we’ll be talking about in this article.
What are dentures?
Dentures are essentially a set of false teeth. A set can be used for the top jaw, the bottom jaw or both. They can also be used alongside dental implants, if needed. The false teeth sit on a plate that’s made of either metal or plastic. The plate sits on the gums and mimics the look and feel of real teeth. They are also removable, unlike dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are fixed to the jawbone by an artificial root – a titanium screw – that is used to anchor the false tooth securely. One implant (artificial root) is used to anchor a single tooth. If one requires eight to dental implants, then between four to eight implants will be needed to ensure their rigidity and durability for many years.
An implant consists of three different parts: a screw, an abutment and, lastly, a crown. The crown is what makes the implant look natural and incredibly realistic. Implants are a popular option for those who are missing teeth or even for those who are missing just one tooth. Dental implants can also ensure the integrity of the jawbone which will have weakened as a result of an absent natural tooth.
Types of treatment
The way in which dentures and dental implants are fixed in the mouth differ vastly. Dentures are removable and can be used in conjunction with dental implants. Dental implants, however, are a permanent solution and so require specialist installation and restoration to be carried out by a qualified dental specialist, such as the ones at Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic.
How are dentures fitted?
Dentures are made from either metal or plastic that carries a set of, usually, porcelain false teeth. Dentures will sit on the gums and mimic a set of natural-looking, healthy teeth. Whether you need full or partial dentures depends on the number of teeth you’re missing.
It is possible for a patient to have a mixture of dental implants and dentures, however. Implant-supported dentures have the ability to clip onto dental implants, as the name would suggest. This might be an attractive option for those who wish to have some teeth replaced by implants and others by dentures so as to stick to their budget.
How are dental implants fitted?
Dental implants are fitted using a titanium screw that’s carefully fixed to the patient’s jawbone. This ensures the tooth is fixed securely in the mouth and doesn’t move around when chewing or smiling, for example. Once the screw is firmly in place, a crown will be fitted over the top to ensure a natural-looking replacement tooth.
How long do they last?
Dentures and dental implants have different lifespans. The way in which you look after them can also affect how long they last. But, on average, how long are dentures likely to last for and what about dental implants?
How long do dentures last for?
Dentures will need to be replaced every few years. Usually, a patient would seek out a replacement set every 5 to 8 years. This is usually down to bone structures in your face as they can change over time.
This is what causes the dentures to become loose in most cases. If dentures become loose, then it can hinder how well they function as well as cause sores and gum infections. As soon as they become uncomfortable or ill-fitting, you should look to replace them as soon as possible.
How long do dental implants last for?
Dental implants are considered to be a permanent solution for missing teeth. As such, they’re highly-likely to last for many years post-treatment. However, you’ll still need to have regular follow-up appointments so as to ensure your dental implants are still stable, secure and intact.
How to care for them after treatment
Dentures and dental implants have to be looked after differently, for different reasons. As dentures aren’t a permanent fixture, food is more likely to get trapped underneath them and sore spots may develop. Whereas dental implants, which are fixed in place, still need to be brushed and flossed. So how can you look after either dentures or dental implants to ensure they last as long as possible?
How to look after your dentures
Dentures may irritate the gums and mouth slightly upon their initial wearing, but once the patient has got used to it, they’ll feel as comfortable and effective as natural teeth. Dentures have to be kept clean and, much like with normal teeth, need to be cleaned on a daily basis. This is usually done overnight, when the patient has no need to wear them. Your dentist will be able to advise you on how to keep your dentures clean if you have any questions.
How to look after your dental implants
Dental implants are relatively easy to look after once treatment has been completed. This is because they’re cleaned in much the same way as natural teeth would be. Brushing dental implants and flossing in between them daily is the best way to ensure their overall integrity.
What are the pros & cons of each?
Like with most things, you must be aware of the benefits and disadvantages of your treatment options. It’s imperative that you’re making the right decision, especially when choosing a more permanent option, like dental implants. So what does each dental solution have to offer you?
What are the benefits of dentures?
Dentures are a popular solution for those who are missing several teeth, mainly because they’re easy to get hold of and can be an affordable option for those with a more modest budget but who still wish to eat, drink, talk and smile with confidence. Just some of the benefits dentures have to offer includes:
- The patient can choose when they want to wear their dentures and when they’d like to be without them
- If numerous teeth are missing, dentures will provide your facial muscles the support they need to ensure your cheeks don’t go hollow
- Dentures are very natural-looking, meaning people will often have no idea that someone is wearing dentures
- Dentures are available on the NHS, but make sure you discuss this with your dentist as a payment plan might be able to be set up if they’re not available on the NHS
What are the disadvantages of dentures?
Dentures, although incredibly advantageous for many people, do come with some disadvantages. But in order for you to make the right decision about whether to opt for dental implants or dentures, you must be aware of every aspect of them. Here are the cons when it comes to dentures:
- You will have to undergo an adjustment period, which might feel a little strange to start off with
- Dentures might take a while to get used to
- Eating and speaking with dentures in place will take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, the aforementioned will become second nature
- They need to be cared for appropriately
- Dentures must be adequately cleaned and stored when you’re not wearing them
- If the dentures become worn down or if your jaw changes shape over some time, then you’ll need a brand new set of dentures
- If dentures are ill-fitted or don’t quite fit properly, then it will make eating, drinking and speaking difficult and it may even lead to gum infections
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are widely used as a way to restore missing, loose or broken teeth and many patients, after treatment, wish that they had undergone treatment many years ago, purely because the results far exceed their expectations. But what are the benefits of dental implants when compared to other solutions?
- Any and all replacement teeth will enable the patient to eat and drink as normal
- Smiling and talking will be able to be done with complete confidence
- Permanent implants will give a youthful appearance, particularly to the lower half of your face
- Any of your remaining teeth will not be compromised by replacement teeth as they’ll be anchored to the implant rather than any neighbouring teeth
- If, in the unlikely event, that your replacement teeth fail, then they can be rectified quickly and painlessly
- When looked after properly, dental implants will last for many years to come
What are the disadvantages of dental implants?
Just as there are advantages to dental implants, there are also some cons involved that must be taken into account in order for you to decide, with certainty, that dental implants are right for you. The disadvantages of dental implants include:
- It can be quite expensive
- The entire process, from start to finish, could take anywhere between 6 and 9 months from the initial consultation to complete restoration
- You will have to learn how to look after them properly which will involve using a brand new cleaning technique in order to ensure the health of the gums around the implant
- Dental implants will not be suitable for some patients, so be sure to discuss the treatment in depth with your dentist
Quorn Dental Practice & Implant Clinic have a specialist team of highly-qualified, fully-trained professionals at the helm of their operations. Their experienced team can always be counted upon to deliver exceptional care in a comfortable and relaxed environment. Using the very latest techniques and technology to carry out bespoke services, you’ll be able to look to Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic for swift and effective dental solutions. As well as dentures and implants, they can also provide specialist care and treatments, including dental crowns, veneers, orthodontic treatment and more. For more information, get in touch with a member of their expert team today – they’re always happy to hear from you.