Tooth loss can be an embarrassing problem despite the fact that about two-thirds of the American population suffers from at least one missing tooth. Fortunately, there are many options available to people who are looking for a solution to tooth loss. Two of the most common options are dental implants and dentures.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are permanent prosthetics that work by inserting a metal rod into your jaw bone and affixing a permanent crown. Getting dental implants requires extensive surgery and healing time because of the fact that the dentist has to drill into your bone to affix the metal rod. Oftentimes, if your bone has deteriorated, a bone graft will also have to be performed.
All of this requires at least three months of healing and a lot of prep work. In fact, before you’re approved for the dental implant procedure the dentist will want to make sure you’re in good overall health. We will also take x-rays and impressions of your mouth and perform a complete examination.
Performed under general anesthesia, the doctor will have you come in for your first appointment where the rod and potentially bone graft will be placed. After you’ve healed you will come in and have the permanent crown affixed.
The best thing about dental implants is that they are:
- Easy to care for
- Function and look like your natural teeth
- Offer a more natural shape to your mouth
What About Dentures?
Dentures are still one of the most popular solutions to tooth loss today, particularly for those who have lost several teeth. Dentures are more affordable than dental implants and the process of getting them is much shorter than what you would experience when getting implants.
Dentures are essentially removable prosthetics that look and function like your natural teeth. Because they are removable you will need a temporary glue to hold them in place in your mouth so that you do not run into them slipping and impacting your speech or eating.
To be fitted for dentures you will come into the office and undergo an exam. The dentist will then take impressions of your mouth. These impressions are sent off to the lab and used by a prosthodontist to create dentures that fit the unique arches and curves of your mouth.
Typically, once your dentures are complete, they are sent back to our office where we will make sure they fit. If we notice any issues or you have any discomfort we will continue to tweak them until they are perfect.