Those seeking treatment for missing teeth can choose to either get dentures or have dental implants. Both are considered restorative treatment options that are designed to mitigate the physical and cosmetic problems caused by tooth loss. But there are several reasons why dental implants offer a better option compared to dentures.
Dentures are used to replace sections of missing teeth. They can either be full sets of false upper and lower teeth or they can be partial sets when only a few teeth are being replaced. Typically dentures are made from materials such as bone, ivory and porcelain. Both full-sets and partial dentures are removable and are attached to the gums using a denture adhesive.
While dentures offer some benefit to those wearing them, there are some caveats associated with its use that are important to consider. Because dentures typically rest directly on the gum tissue, they can be a source of constant irritation and have been known to cause bleeding and sore gums. They can also inhibit chewing habits and speech, especially in the initial stages. In addition, dentures require a lot of maintenance and care to ensure proper oral hygiene and longevity of the dentures themselves. Conventional dentures can also sometimes contribute to bone loss in the area where teeth are missing.
Dental implants on the other hand offer a stronger and much more durable restorative option for those looking for teeth replacement. Unlike dentures which rest on the gums, dental implants are anchored directly into the jawbone. A dental implant consists of a titanium post that actually fuses over a period of time with living bone through a process called osseointegration. The titanium posts are then capped with very realistic looking porcelain crowns.
Because they are anchored into the jawbone, dental implants look and function like normal teeth. They are also able to withstand the same chewing forces that natural teeth can. Importantly, dental implants can help maintain the jaw line and prevent the bone shrinkage that usually accompanies tooth loss and gum disease. The crowns on top of the implants typically require only the same sort of care that normal teeth do.
Research has also shown that dental implant procedures have a very high rate of success. According to some estimates, the five-year success rate for dental implants involving the lower jaw stands at around 95% while upper jaw implants have a five-year success rate of around 90%.