Having one or more missing teeth can have a huge impact on a person’s appearance and their daily lives, effecting their self-confidence and even the way they speak and eat.
Whether tooth loss occurs due to a genetic condition, injury, trauma, gum disease or severe tooth decay, the consequences of not replacing the missing teeth can affect your oral health and cause a number of unwanted issues.
If you have missing teeth and are weighing up the differences between dentures and dental implants in Essex, here we compare both treatments for you so that you can decide which is the right solution for your needs.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are made up of a base or plate that is custom moulded to fit over your gums with false teeth attached. It is removable and can help to eliminate some of the problems that can occur when you have gaps left by missing teeth.
They come in two different types;
- Complete dentures are used to replace all the upper or lower teeth
- Partial dentures can be used to replace anything from one to several missing teeth
Dentures can be a viable option for most patients but for those suffering with gum disease, this should be treated before proceeding with dentures. The procedure and treatment process are usually quite quick and involve;
- Taking impressions of the mouth
- Creating bespoke dentures
- In some cases, depending on the individual patient, some teeth will need to be removed before placement and time left for the gums to heal
- The final dentures are fitted
- What Are the Pros and Cons of Dentures?
- One of the more affordable tooth loss solutions
- Good option for patients with weak or unhealthy jaws and gums
- Procedure is non-invasive
- Can help to replace single or multiple missing teeth
- If additional teeth are lost in the future, they can be added directly to the partial denture
- Can slip out whilst eating or speaking
- Less stable than implants
- Can cause sore gums
- Require adhesive to work effectively
- They can become loose over time and need replacing
- Must be removed regularly for cleaning
- Not as natural or realistic looking as some other options
- Can make adjacent teeth more vulnerable to decay and gum issues
- What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a long-term solution which is used to replace individual teeth, multiple teeth at once or even all the teeth in one or both arches. They consist of 3 parts – a titanium screw, an abutment and a crown or false tooth. The screw is surgically implanted into the jawbone and acts as a replacement tooth root, fusing with the bone during the healing process to create an extremely strong and stable support for a replacement tooth or crown to be attached to.
The process and timeline will vary depending on the patient but can involve;
- Surgically placing the implant into the jawbone
- Healing period of 3-6 months
- Abutment is attached to the post
- Prosthetic tooth is attached
- Are They Suitable for Everyone?
Most people are suitable for dental implants, but they may not be recommended for patients who;
- Have jawbone loss
- Poor oral health
- Have had radiotherapy to the jaw area
- Pregnant women
- Certain illnesses such as diabetes
- What Are the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?
- Extremely natural appearance
- Reduces jawbone loss
- Can last a lifetime
- Low maintenance
- Eat all the foods you want with no restrictions
- Look and function just like real teeth
- Secure fit with no slippage or need for adhesives
- Preserve facial features
- Doesn’t damage the surrounding healthy teeth
- Dental implants tend to be more expensive than dentures, but when you consider how long they last then they work out extremely cost effective
- Require surgery which isn’t always an option for scared or nervous patients