If you have missing or damaged teeth, you’re going to have to decide whether to have dental implants. And, we understand that it’s not always an easy decision to make. You need to consider the treatment type, cost, result and longevity. Many of our patients ask us about dental bridges and partial dentures as they’ve been told they are less expensive, faster and don’t involve surgery. However, that’s just part of the puzzle. What really matters is your long term health and making sure you have a smile that sticks for years to come.
The Impact of Missing Teeth
When there is a gap in our mouth due to a missing tooth, our other teeth will gradually begin to move and can become crooked and uneven. Meanwhile, the lack of stimulation to our jawbone causes it to deteriorate. The result is that the shape of our mouths can change, making our face look sunken and creating an appearance of premature ageing.
The truth is that, whether you’ve lost teeth because of trauma, periodontal issues, decay or bone loss, missing teeth can have a major impact on your life. Over time you find that you can’t eat the foods you want to, you don’t look like you used to and, more often than not, you lose your self-confidence. With so much at stake, it’s important to understand all of the available treatment options and choose the one that will improve both your health and your quality of life.
The alternatives – Bridges and Partial Dentures
Bridges and partial dentures are common solutions for replacing missing teeth. Partial dentures, otherwise known as false teeth, are supported by a metal framework and are easily removable. Dental bridges, on the other hand, are permanently fixed to the natural teeth on either side of the gap. To fix a dental bridge, the supporting teeth need to be filed down and a crown cemented on to each one.
Both these alternatives are viable options, but they come with their own compromises. Partial dentures are often ill-fitting, come loose and put pressure on the gums that makes eating uncomfortable. Dental bridges, on the other hand, while fixed in place, involve grinding down and compromising otherwise healthy teeth. In both cases, while the gap is filled, the solution doesn’t prevent bone loss and the knock-on effects that it causes. They are also more difficult to clean and present an increased risk of cavities occurring.
And, important to note with regard to cost, neither of these alternatives are permanent. Partial dentures will usually need to be remade every five years or so, if not before, when they become loose or ill-fitting. Dental bridges, also only last about five to ten years, depending on how well they have been maintained.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
Dental implants are considered by the industry to be the optimal, permanent solution to replace missing teeth due to their comfort, functionality and natural appearance. No one will ever know that you even have them, unless you tell them of course. The implant itself fuses with your jaw bone, providing stability and preventing bone loss. And, after the implant has integrated, a crown is attached to the implant providing a permanent, comfortable and natural-looking solution for your missing tooth.
Research has shown dental implants have many benefits over other methods of tooth replacements including:
- Natural appearance – as they are designed to fuse with your jawbone and become a permanent fixture in your mouth, dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth.
- Improved speech – as dental implants are fixed firmly and permanently in place, there is no chance of them slipping, meaning you can speak clearly and with confidence.
- Greater comfort – again, dental implants are permanent, so they can’t slip and cause pain and discomfort to your gums.
- Ability to chew normally – dental implants function just like your natural teeth, meaning that you can eat what you want, just like you used to.
- Improved oral health – your natural teeth won’t be compromised to fit dental implants. What’s more, implants make it easier for you to clean your teeth and retain good oral hygiene.
- Long-lasting – dental implants are extremely durable and can last many years. In fact, with proper care, they can last a lifetime.
- Preserve jawbone – dental implants are the only solution for missing or damaged teeth that help to preserve your jawbone, protect your surrounding teeth and restore your natural facial shape
- Improved self-esteem – dental implants eliminate the embarrassment and inconvenience of removing partial dentures. What’s more, with your smile restored, you’ll be more confident and able to live life to the fullest.