Full dentures are the most common restoration used for patients missing all of their natural teeth. The only other alternative to a complete removable denture is dental implant supported prosthesis. Although removable dentures are usually the most inexpensive option for tooth replacement, they can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Dental implants are an alternative to consider.
A dental implant is a small man-made titanium fixture that serves as a replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Titanium is used because it is most compatible with our human body. The dental implant is placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw and functions as an anchor for the replacement tooth.
1) Improved Appearance: Dental implant supported prostheses are more natural than removable dentures in appearance and more attractive. They look and feel like natural teeth. Since implants fuse to bone, the prosthesis is permanent and non-removable.
2) Improved Confidence: Removable dentures become loose and can rock and cause embarrassment for the wearer. With the dental implant prosthesis, a person can feel confident that teeth will not move. All regular activities can be performed without fear of embarrassment.
3) Comfort and Convenience: Removable dentures can cause sore spots in the mouth under the denture. With a dental implant supported prostheses there are no sore spots. Removable dentures can be inconvenient because they require removal at night and for cleaning. They require messy adhesives. Patients with dental implants do not experience these embarrassing situations.
4) Durability: Implants have a high rate of success and durability. They last many years. With good care, implants can last a lifetime.
5) Improved Eating: Removable dentures can slide during eating and make eating a complicated and unhappy activity. The ability to chew foods improves dramatically with dental implants. While removable dentures are only 20% to 25% as efficient as a person's natural teeth, implant supported prostheses are 80% as efficient. A prosthesis supported by dental implants functions like natural teeth making eating an enjoyable and easy experience.
6) Improved Taste: A full upper removable denture covers the roof of the mouth. Food is more difficult to taste and enjoy. With an implant-supported prosthesis, the roof of the mouth is not covered and food can be tasted fully.
7) Improved Nutrition and Health: Many foods cannot be eaten with removable dentures. With an implant-supported prosthesis, people are able to eat a varied, healthful diet that includes all necessary food groups for improved nutrition. Chewy and crunchy foods such as carrots, lettuce and apples can be added to the diet.
8) Improved Speech: Removable dentures can make speaking sound garbled. The teeth can slip within the mouth causing mumbling or slurring of words. With dental implants normal speech is usually not a problem and patients can feel confident that the teeth will not slip during conversation.
9) Reduced Chance of Loss: Removable dentures can be easily lost. Dental implant supported prostheses cannot be removed and misplaced.
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10) Bone Growth: One of most devastating problems for patients wearing removable dentures is the loss of bone that occurs over time. Gradually removable dentures become more difficult to wear because of this bone loss. The ridge gradually wears away providing less and less ridge to support the denture. Dental implants act like natural teeth and aid in bone stimulation and growth.
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With a high rate of long-term success, greater comfort and improved quality of life, dental implants are the best choice many people of all ages.