There’s no getting around the fact that some or all of your natural teeth must be replaced. The question now is what sort of replacement would be best. Your dentist has finished a thorough examination and confirmed that you are a candidate for dental implants as well as dentures. While you’re familiar with the idea of dentures, implants are something that should be explored before you make a decision. Here are some of the more common facts about dental implants that should be taken into consideration.
Implants Look Great
Much of your concern is how your smile will look once the teeth are no longer around. Since you’ve seen people wearing ill-fitting dentures before, the prospect of going that route has you worried. The last thing you want is denture plates that seem to be the wrong size and make it look as if you have something other than teeth in your mouth.
Here’s what you should know about implants and your appearance: each crown that’s attached to every implant is custom-made for a perfect fit. It’s not just the size; you’ll also find that each crown is designed to look just like the type of tooth it’s replacing. Since the scale is ideal for your mouth and the shape of your jaws, you can depend on the implants to look perfectly natural. Think of what that means in terms of being confident about the way your smile looks.
And They Feel Great Too
Looks matter, but so does comfort. That’s another area where dental implants excel. Many people who have tried dentures and switched to implants indicate that they feel more natural in the mouth. They are also less likely to irritate the gums.
That’s because implants are basically occupying the same space that was once home to the roots of your teeth. It’s not as if you have some foreign object sitting on top of the gums. The result is that the implants feel more natural. That in turn makes it all the easier for you to forget that you have implants rather than real teeth.
They Stay in Place
If you’ve ever heard a relative tell about the time he or she was out enjoying a meal with loved ones only to have a denture plate slip out of place, then you have some idea of how embarrassing that situation can be. Some people handle those events with class, excusing themselves and correcting the slippage in a private place. Even so, it’s still not the type of thing you want to deal with on a regular basis.
The fact is that even with the best type of dental adhesive, this sort of thing is likely to happen sooner or later. Opting to invest in dental implants means you never have to worry about this sort of thing. Those implants will remain in place for a long time, possibly the rest of your life. All you have to do is take the same precautions while eating that you would do with real teeth, and everything will stay in the right place.
And Are Easy to Keep Clean
Have you given any consideration to keeping whatever solution you choose clean? When it comes to dentures, this choice would mean making significant changes in the way you do things. Dentures must be removed, immersed in some type of cleaning agent, then gently scrubbed before you can apply fresh adhesive and put back in your mouth. The process can be tiresome. There are people who also find it time-consuming.
None of this applies if you settle on implants. You will still be able to brush after each meal, using the type of toothbrush that your dental professional recommends. It’s fine to use mouthwash whenever you like. That means your routine for managing oral health remains much like it was when you had real teeth. Think of how much simpler and more familiar that routine is, versus having to develop a whole new way to keep the mouth clean.
You Can Even Floss
One of the misconceptions about dental implants is that you shouldn’t use floss. That’s because implants don’t have the natural protective layer at the gum line that comes with real teeth. It’s true that you want to avoid using standard dental floss, but it does not mean your days of flossing are behind you.
There are forms of dental floss that are made for use by people who have dental implants. This is the product you will use several times a week to remove any residue that’s collected between the crowns. Thanks to the design, there is less of a chance of damaging the gums and running the risk of infection. At the same time, you get to enjoy the sensation of being extra clean that comes from flossing on a regular basis.
There’s More Than One Option for Implants
When you ask most people about dental implants, their minds usually go directly to the individual type that replaces each tooth. For many, this is the type of implant that is chosen. However, there’s another implant solution that may be right for you.
That other solution is often referred to as an all-on-four implant. With this approach, a dental professional installs four implants along the line of the upper and lower jaw. Customized dental plates that look like rows of natural teeth are attached to those posts. This solution can be used for many people who may have some issues with bone mass. Best of all, this choice offers just about all of the benefits that you get with individual implants and without any of the complications that come with standard dentures.
The Cost is More Affordable Than Many People Think
One obstacle that many people see when they compare dentures and dental implants have to do with the cost. They look at the cost of a single set of dentures and notice that the price is less than getting dental implants. What they forget is how long the implants will last.
A great set of dentures is likely to last for somewhere between five and seven years before they are no longer a good fit for your jaws. At that point, you will need to spend more money on replacements. Depending on your age, this process may have to be repeated three or more times as the year’s pass.
Investing in a set of dental implants means you’re highly unlikely to need any replacements. It’s true that you may need to replace a crown at some point, although many people report they have never needed to do so. When you compare the cost of three sets of dentures versus a one-time expense with dental implants, the gap between the two options narrows quite a bit. In fact, it may disappear altogether.
No Worries About Sore Gums
You already know that dentures can irritate the gums. That’s because they may shift slightly while you chew, or even while you are talking. The slightly abrasive action against the gums could lead to soreness. This is true even when you allow for the cushioning effect that a good denture adhesive provides.
The result is that you may hesitate to slip the dentures back in your mouth in the morning, simply because the gums are sore. While there are treatments you can try to help ease the discomfort, is that really the way that you want to start the day?
With implants, you may have some soreness for a short time after they are installed. After that, your gums will be fine. That means you don’t wake up with any pain, and you can begin your day without having to figure out how to put in dentures that will only make your gums feel worse.
Implants Last Much Longer Than a Set of Dentures
As mentioned before, dentures are only going to last for so long. Even if you’re fortunate enough to have a set that remains a good fit for a longer period, the day will still come when you need to get a new one. That means more time seeing a dental professional, having impressions made, and making all the decisions related to dentures again. It’s not just the cost to consider; it’s also the amount of time invested in each round of replacing those dentures.
Unless some type of accident takes place, there’s a good chance you will keep the same implants for the rest of your life. Even if you sustain an injury to the mouth, it’s not a given that the old implants will have to be replaced. At best, there may be the need to replace damaged crowns. Once you have the implants, there will not be time spent on having to redo something that has already been done. Think of how you can put your time to better use.
Maintaining the Contours of Your Jawline
One of the primary reasons you will need to replace dentures eventually has to do with changes to the jawline. Without something in the sockets that once held the tooth roots, it’s only a matter of time before they begin to shrink inward. When that happens, your formerly strong jaw will also sink in. The change in the shape of your face could be significant. Once the change takes place, there’s no going back.
Opting for implants means inserting something in spaces that were intended to be filled for your entire life. Once they are in position, they will help to preserve the shape of the jaw. This is because there is no empty space that allows for shrinking and shifting. Your jaw will look the same ten years from now as it looked on the day you had the dental work done.
And the Health of Your Bone Structure
The shape of the jaws is a primary concern, but it’s not all you need to think about. The integrity of your bone structure is also better if you choose to get dental implants. That’s because the implants continue to mimic the same actions that were once performed by your natural teeth.
Actions like chewing do place pressure on the jaws. This in turn helps to stimulate the bone mass and keep it healthier. Dentures don’t allow for the same amount of force as natural teeth. The result is that the bone mass may weaken at a faster rate. By opting for implants, you create more pressure and stimulate the bone mass to a greater degree.
Crowns Are Easy to Replace If Necessary
Think of what happens if you damage a denture plate. At best, it will have to be sent off for some type of repair. At worst, the entire plate will need to be replaced. Either option will mean more expense.
What happens if you should damage a crown on one of your implants? A dental professional can remove it with ease, provide you with a temporary crown while a new one is made, and then attach the permanent crown once it’s ready. In many cases, the new crown can be put in place in a matter of days. It’s also less expensive than purchasing a new denture plate.
Perfect for Speaking More Clearly
You may have noticed that some people with dentures speak more deliberately than they did in the past. This is because the dentures may be interfering with the ability to enunciate with ease. In order to ensure they are understood, some denture wearers develop the habit of speaking slightly slower and put more effort into pronouncing each word.
This is not something that has to be done with implants. Since each crown is shaped and sized to be a perfect fit, you will be able to enunciate just like you did in the past. The fact that implants don’t slip at all only makes it all the easier for you to speak clearly.
An Overall Superior Solution for Your Oral Health
Any way that you look at it, dental implants are the best choice if you want to spend more time doing the things that you want and less time trying to figure out how to maintain your oral health. Between the ease of dental hygiene, the fact that the implants won’t move, and knowing that they will last for decades, it’s clear that this option is the superior one.
Talk with your dental professional and learn more about implants. Feel free to ask any questions that you have about the installation, how to care for the implants, and what you can expect in the way of performance. Once you know all the facts, your choice will be easy to make.