Since the dawn of the dental age, dentures have been the go-to for major tooth loss. Previously made from ivory and human teeth , and more recently crafted from acrylic resin and metal, dentures are designed to act in the place of teeth while easily removed for cleaning and care. Though dentures have been a great option, they have a few major issues including heal time, becoming lost or damaged, gum irritation, jawbone breakdown, and speech issues.
With changes in technology, there is now a great and permanent alternative that addresses these problems while creating a natural tooth experience: Total Implants. Total Implants is a system where patients receive at least four dental implant posts with a full denture attached permanently on top. Unlike traditional dentures, this permanent denture is not removable and will heal into your mouth in the same way a single tooth implant would. It can be brushed and cared for as a regular set of teeth.
Implants Healing Time vs. Dentures
When a patient is getting traditional dentures, there is a six to twelve week time period where the patient must go without teeth and allow the gums and jaws to heal from the extraction of the damaged teeth. During these weeks, solid food must be avoided and even after the dentures are fitted, soft food is recommended while the gums become accustomed to the pressure.
The healing time with Total Implants is different. There is a 24-hour period without teeth and avoiding solid food, but a full smile thereafter. The downtime is so minimal, and though soft food should be the go-to for a few weeks, eating normally is encouraged quicker than with traditional dentures. The total healing time is a bit longer for the implant to fully integrate with the jawbone, but the inconvenience to daily life, both with how you look and how you eat is dramatically easier.
Gum Irritation and Jaw Issues vs. Dentures
Traditional dentures can have problems with fit that irritates the gums and puts uneven strain on the jaw bone, breaking down the jaw over time. If a denture isn’t glued properly, it can pull up while eating, changing positioning and impacting the bite. Implanted supported dentures don’t have these issues because they are permanently affixed, and the gums and jaw are a key part of that permanence. The implant is affixed to the jaw bone, so the pressure of the bite is taken by the jaw, not the soft gum tissue, keeping the bite even and consistent. The strain on the gums is minimal beyond the cleaning and preventing of food particles from becoming caught around the implanted denture. And the jaw isn’t negatively impacted by the implants. In fact, a full assessment of jawbone health is taken before the implants are added, and bone grafting may be done prior to the implant to ensure that the jaw is at optimal density and health.
Cost vs. Dentures
The upfront cost of traditional dentures is less, but the lifetime cost of both products may be comparable. Traditional dentures can last seven to ten years. So, if a patient is 60 when they get their first set of dentures, they may need to replace it 3+ times over their lifetime, more than tripling the total cost. Additionally, maintaining them includes the costs of denture cream, rinses, and overnight soaking solution. Alternatively, Total Implants are designed to last the lifetime of the wearer and require no additional maintenance products. And don’t forget enjoying an improved quality of life by not dealing with the fit, breakdown, and bite issues of a traditional denture set.
Which option is right for you? Call today to set up a time to discuss in person. Every smile is different, so let’s see what your best options are and go from there.