In today’s dentistry, tooth replacement comes in various forms. There are dentures, partial dentures, crown-&-bridge combinations, and dental implants.
When decisions must be made to replace a natural tooth or teeth, we make recommendations and explain the options best suited to each patient’s needs and preferences. For people who have lost all of their upper or lower teeth, some choose the option of a denture, typically based on what seems to be a lower price.
While a ‘full arch’ denture may appear as the better bargain, I caution my patients as to what the future holds for most long-time denture wearers. For me, this is best illustrated in how new patients who’ve worn dentures for many years describe their dentures.
I’ve heard terms such as wobbly, slippery, rocky, jiggly and floppy. People will describe trying to bite or chew with their ill-fitting dentures. They’ll tell me about embarrassing moments when laughing, sneezing or yawning.
While most are good-natured about their experiences from wearing a loose denture, some are devastated. Women, especially, have a difficult time overcoming these mishaps in front of groups of friends or even strangers.
When an individual is initially fitted for a new denture, most are unaware of the changes that will occur beneath their gum tissues. While a denture replaces the presence of teeth in the mouth, it does very little to restore the function of natural teeth.
Think about it… natural teeth are held by tooth roots, which are supported by the upper or lower jaw bone. The presence of these tooth roots help to nourish and stimulate the bone. This action helps the jaw bone to maintain its mass.
When tooth roots are removed, the lack of stimulation causes the bone to resorb. The process of resorption is actually known as osseo-integration. While it may not be obvious, at first, resoprtion eventually shows up in a number of ways.
Bone loss causes a denture that once fit securely to begin to move when biting or chewing. While denture pastes and adhesives help, the process continues so eating becomes more challenging as time goes on.
Eventually, people stop eating certain foods to avoid sore spots on tender gum tissues. They may bypass foods with small seeds to avoid a piercing feeling on gums under the denture as they chew.
Unbeknownst to many is the fact that the mere pressure from wearing a denture causes the bone to decline in mass. Too, for those who sleep in their dentures, the all day/all night pressure speeds up the rate of bone loss even more.
I try to describe bone loss to people in terms of the anatomy of the jaw bone. However, the best way to ‘see it’ is to remove your denture and look in the mirror.
What you may see are deep wrinkles around the mouth. You may notice the corners of your mouth turn downward, even when you smile. Your chin may be more pointed than a decade ago. You may have had jowls form on each side of your face.
You see, a denture tends to plump up the face. Once it’s removed, however, the extent of bone loss is all too real. This bone loss is also why a once-secure denture starts to move easily in the mouth. The ‘arch’ your denture was made to fit is flattening out.
Dental implants are designed to recreate the presence of tooth roots in the jaw. They restore the foundation your natural teeth once had so biting, chewing and laughing are secure and worry-free.
Yes, the expense of dental implants seems more, but is it? Dental implants will never decay, nor need a root canal, nor require neighboring teeth to be crowned for support nor compromise the health of other teeth.
With proper maintenance, dental implants will last your lifetime. How many investments do we make in today’s world that comes with that sense of reassurance?!!!
When it comes to supporting your health and well-being, dental implants are unsurpassed. They enable you to eat a healthy diet and chew food properly and comfortably. With dental implants, you can enjoy social outings without worry and laugh confidently.
We respect the choices our patients make when it comes to how they wish to replace missing teeth. However, once they understand the realities of dentures, they hardly seem much of a bargain.
In our office, we work with patients to help them accomplish the best choice within a budget they can manage. There are nearly 300 types of dental implants. Once we determine which is the best option for the patient’s needs and goals, our financial coordinator is happy to discuss payment options that help to make dental implants a reality.
Let’s discuss how you can describe your smile without using terms such as wobbly, rocky or jiggly! Call 586-739-2155 for a free consultation. During this time, I ‘ll answer your questions and explain the best options based on your preferences.