Get the Facts and Learn the Difference
Missing teeth can be uncomfortable or unpleasant, and can make you feel self-conscious or embarrassed when talking with others. Thankfully, dental implants and dentures exist to help you feel more confident in your smile. But what’s the best choice for you? Each option has the benefit of giving you a renewed appearance by replacing lost teeth with artificial replacements. This guide can help you understand the differences between dental implants and dentures so you can make an informed decision about which is the best option for you.
What is the Procedure Like?
To secure dental implants in the mouth, small titanium screws are implanted in the gum of the missing tooth or teeth. This will act as the root of the implant and over time, will fuse with the bone. Next, a carefully designed replacement crown is fitted to the screw. The length of the procedure will vary depending on your individual needs, but dental implants are often placed in as little as one trip.
At Acosta Dental Arts, we offer a variety of dentures to suit every patient’s individual needs. Fixed partial dentures are our most popular choice of dentures. Also known as a permanent bridge, these synthetic teeth are molded to fit the mouth and use a titanium metal to fuse to the jawbone. Depending on your particular mouth structure, the adjacent teeth may need to be filed to cut down to situate the dentures comfortably.
How Long Do They Last?
Implants are intended to be a permanent solution. As long as proper dental hygiene is observed, dental implants should last your entire life. In the months following their placement, you will be required to return to the office to have them checked on by the doctor. Dr. Acosta will explain any special care or attention that they may require in order to keep them healthy for the rest of your life.
A set of dentures typically last up to 10 years. With time, the denture material wears away and the bone shape changes, which can affect the way the dentures fit. When this occurs, your denture will need to be resized or replaced. Acosta Dental Arts offers a specialized procedure called denture stabilization that is intended to eliminate any discomfort or bone receding that may happen with long-term denture wear, which can help you enjoy your dentures for years to come.
How Will They Affect My Other Teeth?
They won’t. Dental implants are set in such a way that they don’t affect the teeth around them. They are intended to act and feel like normal teeth. As long as Dr. Acosta determines that your jawbone is sturdy enough to house the titanium screws needed to hold the implants, the adjacent teeth will carry on as though nothing is different.
Your dentures are in direct contact with a bony structure that supports the soft tissues in your mouth. With long-term use, dentures can wear down your jaw structure and cause the dentures to press on the soft tissues. This can result in slight discomfort or pain, as well as some damage to the adjacent teeth. If you are a resident of Juno Beach or Palm Beach, you can reduce the possibility of bone damage or discomfort by having a denture stabilization performed at Acosta Dental Arts.
Is There A Recovery or Healing Period?
Implants will typically take a few months to fully attach to the bone wall. In that time, you will have to visit the dentist multiple times so they can carefully observe the artificial teeth as they fuse. Remember, implants act as replacement teeth so you can comfortably eat, talk, and drink. It does take time for them to properly situate in your mouth, but once fully attached, you shouldn’t even notice them.
Dentures come in different models and styles, depending on each patient’s individual needs. Some dentures are completely removable. These require no healing or recovery period, although they may take some getting used to. Permanent bridges have a minimal recovery time and are usually placed two to three weeks after the initial placement of a temporary bridge. Again, it may take some getting used to when eating or talking, but no healing period is required.
What Happens If I Wait?
In both cases, waiting is the worst thing you can do. If you decide to delay treatment for whatever reason, you are exposing yourself to the risk of bone decay, uneven wear on your teeth, and more. Dental restoration should always be taken seriously, as it could affect the health of your other teeth as well. Plus, many patients experience a newfound confidence and self-worth when they get implants or dentures placed.
What Should I Do Next?
To learn which dental procedure is best for you, we invite you to contact our office to schedule an appointment today. At Acosta Dental Arts, we strive to provide our North Palm Beach and Juno Beach patients with the best dental care available.