There are a number of things that can cause our teeth to fall out, including accidents, age, decay, and disease. In fact, tooth loss is incredibly common among American adults and affects more than 178 million of us, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. But if you’re one of the millions of Americans missing a tooth or even several teeth, your dentist in Sparks wants you to know that you don’t need to live without a full smile. There are tooth replacement options such as dental implants and dentures available that can help.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are a tooth replacement treatment option that has been around for quite some time but has been improved upon as technology advanced. Dentures can either replace all of your natural teeth or even only a series of missing teeth (called a partial denture). They are removable, non-permanent prosthetics that are custom-created to fit in your mouth and appear like natural teeth.
Pros of Dentures
There are several benefits of dentures, including:
- More affordable than dental implants
- Can be good for those who just had their teeth removed and who want time for their mouth to heal before dental implant surgery
- There’s no surgery involved
- Dentures or partial dentures can be modified if more teeth are lost later in life
Cons of Dentures
As with anything, your dentist in Sparks also wants you to be aware that dentures can also come with a few cons such as:
- They may not look as natural as dental implants
- They have to be removed, cleaned, and stored properly every night
- They require adhesive to stay in place which can get costly over time
- They can slip while eating and talking which can be uncomfortable
- They may not allow you to eat all the foods you want to eat such as corn, apples, or things with tiny seeds
- They can increase the likelihood of gum disease if they aren’t cleaned properly or if food gets trapped
- They’re very delicate and can break easily and require a brand new prosthetic
- Partials can weaken the teeth supporting it leading to additional problems
What are Dental Implants?
Like dentures, dental implants can also replace either one missing tooth or an entire mouth of missing teeth. But unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent, and instead of sitting on top of the jaw bone, dental implants are secured into the jaw bone. Dental implant treatment starts with a titanium post being placed into the jaw bone where it will act as your tooth root. As it heals, your bone will actually grow around the post, securely locking it into place. Afterward, an abutment is added to the post, and a brand new crown custom-created by your dentist in Sparks is placed on top. Now, if you’re missing more than one tooth, a few posts may be implanted into your bone then a full set of brand new teeth will be permanently secured to them, giving you a brand new look.
Pros of Dental Implants
Dental implants can be the best and longest lasting tooth replacement for you and can also provide some of the following benefits.
- Dental implants tend to be more comfortable than dentures
- You can eat what you want with dental implants
- They don’t affect speech
- They don’t require daily removal and reinsertion
- You can care for them just like your natural teeth
- Dental implants can last for decades with proper care
- They can reduce the risk of additional oral health problems
Cons of Dental Implants
Even though dental implants may appear to be all positive, there are a few cons as well.
- Dental implants are more expensive than dentures
- They do require surgery
- Not everyone is a candidate for implants
If you’re tired of living your life with missing teeth, call your dentist in Sparks and schedule a consultation. Together, you can find the best way to replace your teeth and begin treatment so you can start smiling fully again.
Even though our teeth are made up of one of the toughest materials in our bodies, the truth is, sometimes our natural teeth won’t last forever. Whether it’s due to trauma, gum disease, or decay, it’s not uncommon to have a tooth fall out or to have one removed. If this happens, there are many tooth replacement options available, but a favorite choice of your Sparks dentist is a dental implant.
What is a Dental Implant
A dental implant, or even multiple implants, is a superior way to restore your smile and give you a permanent replacement for your tooth. They are usually preferred over a dental bridge or dentures because the implant itself essentially replaces the entire tooth’s structure, not simply the crown. This helps restore your mouth to full function, and oftentimes, you won’t even be able to tell you were ever missing a tooth. In short, dental implants create a natural feel that can last a lifetime.
Benefits of a Dental Implant
We already know that a dental implant can give us back full functionality of our smiles, but there are many other upsides to this tooth replacement option such as:
- Improved appearance and speech. Since dental implants replace the tooth’s natural root system and the post is integrated into the bone, dental implants continue to provide stimulation to the bone. This can help reduce the look of wrinkles and lower your risk of bone loss in the jaw. And since an implant functions very much like a natural tooth, you’re able to speak clearly and do not have to deal with any annoying slippage that can often occur with dentures.
- Easier eating. One common complaint of denture wearers is that they can’t eat what they want when they want to. Dental implants eliminate that restriction and leaves people free to enjoy the foods they love the most. There is no worry of a denture slipping or food stuck getting under one. Overall, those with dental implants can eat without worry.
- Enhanced oral health. Another difference between a dental implant and its denture counterpart is that a dental implant is a permanent structure. This means there’s no need for overnight soaking or the extra cleaning that comes with a removable denture. You can care for a dental implant just as if it’s your natural tooth.
What to Expect During an Implant Procedure
The first step in determining whether a dental implant is right for you is to schedule a consultation with your dentist in Sparks. This visit will allow your dental team to exam your specific situation and determine if an implant is the best tooth-replacement option. If it is, your team will review the treatment plan and schedule the procedure. The procedure itself is pretty easy and consists of a few parts:
- Place the post. Your dentist and your team will insert a titanium post into your jaw bone. While it may sound scary, the procedure itself is mild to moderately painful.
- Healing time. After the post is implanted, you will be fitted with a temporary crown while your bone integrates into the post, building you a super-strong foundation.
- Add the abutment. Once the post is sturdy and healing time is complete, your dentist will custom make you a permanent crown that will be affixed to the post.
Overall, getting a dental implant is an easy and straightforward treatment that can bring your smile back to life.
If you’re missing a tooth or are at risk for losing teeth, give our Sparks dental office a call to schedule an appointment today. We’ll be happy to identify the best treatment option for you and your individual situation.