Dental Implants vs. Dentures
Missing teeth can result in significant issues. The problem is the longer that teeth are missing, the more the jawbone can atrophy since it is no longer needed. As time goes on, the patient can suffer from pain and discomfort. Additionally, the appearance can be affected, causing the individual to look older.
To restore functionality and appearance, patients can visit one of our two locations in Boston, MA, or Waltham, MA. Many patients want to know more about dental implants since they offer a natural-looking teeth replacement option. However, not all candidates qualify for this procedure. During a consultation, we discuss dental implants vs. dentures so patients can decide on the best option.
Candidates for Teeth Restoration
When patients visit our office, we examine their teeth, gums, and overall oral health to determine if implants or dentures are right for them. Our talented dentists use a variety of diagnostic tools to ensure that the mouth is ready for restoration.
Patients who are missing most or all of their teeth are normally good candidates for dentures. Implants can work for patients missing any number of teeth.
To qualify for implants, patients must have good bone density. A bone graft might be required beforehand if your jawbone is unable to accomodate the implant posts.
Dentures vs. Implants
Implant-supported dentures are a more permanent solution and can’t be removed. Traditional dentures can be removed as needed.
Patients can treat implant-supported dentures like their natural teeth and brush and floss daily. With dentures, the patient takes out the appliance to clean the prosthetic. They also need to be soaked to keep them clean and attractive looking.
Finally, implant-supported restorations are more costly since they require a surgical procedure. Keep in mind, however, that the implants themselves can last a lifetime with proper care; dentures must be replaced every 10 to 15 years.
Dental Implant Process
Dental implants require several appointments to complete the process. During your first appointment, the doctor numbs your mouth with local anesthesia and makes small incisions in your gums. The small titanium post is placed directly into the jawbone. Over the next few months, the implant and bone fuse together through osseointegration. The process allows the implant to become a stable and permanent fixture in your mouth.
After your mouth has healed, the dentist attaches a connector called an abutment, which is where the restoration is placed. Your gums will heal over the next several weeks. During this time, your crown or dentures are customized to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth. Once you are ready, you will visit the dentist to have the crown or dentures attached to the connector to complete the implant process.
During a consultation, your dentist determines whether you need full or partial dentures to restore your missing teeth. In some cases, the doctor might have to extract teeth to prep the mouth for the appliance. Impressions and x-rays are taken of the mouth to customize the dentures.
Over the next several weeks, you will visit the office for several fittings to ensure the finished dentures are the correct size and shape. The dentist makes adjustments as needed to make sure they will be stable and comfortable in the mouth.
If you are missing teeth, it is important to replace them as soon as possible. Our doctors can help you determine which treatment option will effectively meet your needs and budget. For more information about implants and dentures, please contact our Waltham office at (781) 890-4900 or schedule a consultation online.