For centuries, the best option for those who had lost teeth was to have dentures fitted. However, thanks to advances in dentistry, more and more people are now choosing to have dental implants fitted instead. Fixed implants sit in position in your jaw and cannot normally be removed and reinserted in the same way dentures can. There are a number of reasons why implants beat dentures for those who need help with tooth loss.
Implants can last up to 20 years if high quality solutions are purchased. This is much longer than standard dentures are able to last for. If you choose dentures, you may be forced to visit the dentist again and again to have your dentures renewed. If you do not look after your dentures properly, they can degrade quickly and become unusable.
Unlike dentures, dental implants sit in a fixed position in your mouth. Because they are often not permanent, dentures can rock or shift in position. This can make eating less comfortable, especially if you want to eat something which is crunchy or harder. Because they may be unstable, it can put unnatural and uneven pressures on some areas of your mouth. However, this is much less of a problem with dental implants, as they are fixed in position. Because they are fixed, you also don't have to worry about them falling out when talking or eating, which means that you can avoid some embarrassing situations.
Dental implants are often fitted with comfort in mind. Rather than transferring the force of chewing to your gums, as some dentures can do, implants transfer the force of chewing to your jaw bone. Natural teeth transfer the force to your jaw as well, so this is the most comfortable solution. Food is also much less likely to get trapped under these implants, due to the way that they are fitted into your jaw. This contrasts with removable dentures, which food often gets stuck underneath.
Wearing dentures can worsen receding gums and speed up the degradation of your jaw bone. Both of these things can lead to more serious health issues. On the other hand, dental implants reduce stress on your gums, so long as you maintain an appropriate oral healthcare routine. Scientists all believe that implants encourage bone stimulation and reduce bone decay in your jaw.
Many people who wear cheap dentures feel unconfident, especially talking or eating. This means that they often have a reduced quality of life, because they do not socialise as much as they would like to, or they do not visit the restaurants that they would like to visit. Good quality implants can give people the confidence to continue to live in the way that they want to live. By choosing implants rather than dentures, you are opening yourself up to a range of different possibilities.
Teeth may be lost due to various reasons - decay, periodontal disease, age, trauma, etc. Whatever the reason, losing a tooth causes some side effects, as noted below:
1. Reduced chewing efficiency, thereby affecting nutrition
2. Aesthetics, more effect if front teeth are lost
3. Structural support to the face - puckering can happen
4. Overall nutrition affected
For someone who has lost a tooth or teeth, dentures are a boon. There are various options for people, and choice can be made based on economic, cosmetic, and overall health conditions.
Partial/complete: If only one or few teeth are being replaced, it is a partial denture. This can be fixed or removable. In case of old age or trauma where all teeth are lost, a complete denture would be in order. In most cases, this is a removable denture.
Fixed dentures/Removable dentures: Depending on whether the denture is fixed in the mouth or can be removed when not in use.
Metal or ceramic or combination: In some cases, for aesthetic or economic reasons, the patient can decide to go for a metallic fixed partial denture. The fabricated crowns will have a metallic surface but is acceptable given the strength, especially in posterior teeth, which take a heavy mastication load.
In cases of front teeth loss, the denture should almost always be a ceramic one, especially for cosmetic reasons. If the person cannot afford, a removable denture can be done.
The optimal denture should be chosen based on a number of factors including the functional and aesthetic expectations.
Caring for dentures: It depends on the types of dentures you choose.
Fixed dentures: This requires religious brushing, flossing or interdental brushing, and rinsing. The edges of the denture can put pressure on the gums and cause irritation, this needs to be watched for.
1. Clean the dentures after every meal
2. Be careful when handling them to avoid fall and breakage
3. Handle the clasps with care, altered clasps may not fit properly
4. Clean the bone and gums around the denture after each meal
5. Soak the dentures overnight in water or a denture-soaking solution
6. Avoid soaking it in hot water, can lead to warping of the denture plate
7. Avoid hard brushing of the dentures
With any denture in the mouth, visit the dentist regularly every 6 months to keep a constant vigil on your overall dental health. Ill-fitting dentures, especially, need to be corrected immediately as they can lead to irritation, ulcers, and even infections.
With these small precautions, the denture can function to its optimal level and serve as a good replacement of the lost tooth.
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