Missing Teeth? Dentures May Not Be the Best Answer
Posted by Hillsdale Dental Care on Sep 20 2017, 04:13 AM
Approximately 69 percent of Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 are missing at least one tooth. And one out of every four Americans over the age of 74 have lost ALL their natural teeth. The good news is there are various options for replacing missing teeth that can have you back to enjoying life again.
Photo source: Bigstock Photos
Options for replacing missing teeth
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you’re already aware of their impact on your appearance and dental health. Your teeth are important for helping you speak, chew, and smile. And when one or more are missing, it makes it difficult to do these things. Even losing a tooth you can’t see when you smile can cause your mouth to shift, making your face appear older.
You may be wondering, What are my options for replacing my missing teeth? Depending on your needs, there are three main options. Keep in mind replacement teeth should last for years, so it’s important to choose the best treatment option for you.
- Implants – surgically placed posts in the upper or lower jaw that serve as an anchor for replacement teeth. Custom-made crowns, bridges or dentures are paired with these posts for a complete replacement.
- Dental bridges – fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth to bridge a gap in the teeth.
- Full or partial dentures – custom-made removable replacement for missing teeth. Can be a partial or full set of teeth depending on the need.
Why are dental implants preferred?
Not everyone needs dentures to replace their missing teeth. According to a quality of life study, there are two key factors that determine the need: 1) how many teeth the person has, and 2) which type of teeth they have.
Dr. Haiping Tan, lead author of the study, stated, “It’s about getting the right balance of biting and cutting teeth at the front of the mouth with enough of the chewing teeth at the back – that can make a real difference to people’s dental function.” Dr. Tan is a faculty member at the University of Adelaide’s School of Dentistry in Australia, where the study was conducted.
There is one option that provides the same feeling, function and appearance as natural teeth—dental implants. And in other studies, implants not only favorably impacted one’s health, it also had the highest satisfaction ratings when it came to the emotional and sexual aspects of life.
Dental implants offer many benefits for replacing missing teeth. Source: Bigstock Photos
Benefits of dental implants over other options
So why are dental implants the first choice when compared to other options for replacing missing teeth? Here are a few reasons:
- Closest to natural teeth – implants are strong and stable, and they look, fit, feel and function as a natural tooth.
- Durable – implants are built to last. Traditional bridges last anywhere from five to seven years, and with proper care often more than 10 years. But at some point, they need to be replaced. Dental implants may need periodic adjustments, however, they can last a lifetime with proper placement and care.
- Retain your natural appearance – missing teeth can make your face sag and appear sunken. Dental implants can restore a more youthful appearance by maintaining the natural shape of your face and your smile.
- Unaffected speech – removable dentures can make it challenging to speak normally as you adjust to them. This is not the case with dental implants since they function as your natural teeth.
- Stay cavity-free – although dental implants need to be cared for and cleaned during your routine dental check-ups, cavities can’t form on a crown placed on an implant.
And there are many more benefits of having dental implants. When making your choice, remember to do your homework to find the best option for you. Give us a call to talk it over and we’ll help you find the best solution.