Our Canterbury dental team look at the pros and cons of these two teeth replacement methods
Traditionally, the loss of any teeth would mean a choice of two options; either leave a gap or replace the missing tooth with a partial, or full, denture. The first option is inadvisable, and not only for aesthetic reasons. Any missing teeth that leave a gap will allow a space for other teeth to encroach into.
Over time, even a single missing tooth can cause other teeth to become crooked and unsightly. Whilst dentures go some way in preventing this from happening, they come with their own ‘problems’.
Even with modern, and greatly improved dentures, some wearers still find them uncomfortable and unstable. Whilst they now look more realistic than may have been the case in the past, they also still fail to replace the lost root of a tooth. Without this, bone degradation is likely to occur and can lead to the dentures becoming ill-fitting and moving around in the mouth. This can lead to socially awkward moments and may also making eating certain foods more difficult.
Are dental implants the answer?
Dental implants are increasingly suggested as the best alternative to dentures, and, at Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, we have to say, we totally agree with this analysis. Whilst both methods offer a means of replacing the more visible aspects of tooth loss, dental implants benefit patients in ways that dentures simply can’t.
As mentioned earlier, dentures do not replace the missing root section of a lost tooth, leading to bone loss and a lack of stability. Dental implants, on the other hand, fulfill this very role, and can be thought of as a replacement tooth root. They are usually made from titanium, a material used because it successfully bonds with the bone in the jaw, in a process known as osseointegration. It is this very process that provides such a strong and secure base onto which a crown is finally attached. Once completed, an implant has a very long life if looked after correctly, and those who have them, generally treat and consider them exactly as they do their natural teeth.
How are implants placed?Read more ›