Over the years, there have been all kinds of different ways to replace missing teeth.
Replacing missing teeth successfully, though, is a difficult thing to accomplish. In fact, until dental implants came along, a common phrase a patient would hear a dentist say was, “this treatment is NOT a replacement for your tooth, it is an improvement over no teeth.”
This phrase was common because a patient would never be as happy with a tooth replacement as they would be with his or her natural tooth. Not only that, but any option previous to dental implants would do more harm than good to some or all of the other teeth and bone in your mouth.
First, the bone: The bone in our jawbones is important. Not only does it support our teeth, but it gives structure to our face. If the skin of our face was a beach ball, the bone would be the air. Take the air out and we lose the tight shape that our face started with.
One of the great things about partial dentures is that it can artificially replace the support of the bone that has been lost (with the plastic that is used to make up the denture). But only at the expense of the jawbone it rests on. As a partial denture rests on the jawbone, it actually causes the jawbone to resorb (or disappear) over time. This means that after an amount of time, partial dentures will begin to rock and move around.
When the denture doesn’t fit perfectly, it needs replaced. However, people don’t want to spend $1500 every couple years on new dentures. So, what do they do? They buy adhesives to try to get it to stay in place. The worse a partial denture fits, though, the faster the bone resorbs. Meaning it will be harder and harder to wear, and it will be harder to get a new denture that ever fits well due to lack of support (because there is less bone).
So, if a patient needs all of their missing teeth replaced, what’s the best option? Treatment supported by affordable dental implants! The dental implants stimulate the jaw bone so that it doesn’t resorb and disappear, meaning longer lasting partial dentures!
A “partial” denture, one that replaces some, but not all teeth, has the same problems with bone disappearing. Additionally, it is holding onto a patient’s remaining teeth for support. So, as the partial denture begins to rock and wobble due to lack of bone support, it starts twisting and yanking on the natural teeth in ways that nature doesn’t intend, causing all sorts of problems.
Studies show that up to 40% of the teeth that a partial denture is clasped onto will be lost within 10 years. Also, because of the extra wear and tear a partial causes the teeth they hold on to, 60% of them will have to be repaired (fillings, crowns, etc) within 5 years. And every time a tooth that is supporting them is repaired, the partial’s fit is less precise, meaning it will move around more and cause harm to the surrounding teeth and bone and an even more rapid rate. And, in case you missed it, what is the reason for these repairs to cause the partial denture not to fit? The partial denture itself!
The ideal situation with a partial denture would be to have a partial that didn’t rest on the bone or hold onto the teeth, but instead on the implants. The dental implants will keep the bone from resorbing and help support the partial, taking most of the unnatural stresses of the remaining teeth!
We’ve covered some of the reasons to choose an implant-supported full or partial denture. Having a partial denture supported by implants, instead of teeth, means less cost and time at the dentist’s office having teeth repaired. It also means a longer lasting partial. Implant supported dentures will keep the bone that supports the denture from disappearing. Not supporting the denture with dental implants will result in a situation that looks a lot like Jared from Subway every few years. You will have a denture that fits as well as it can, but your jawbone will have decreased in size so much that the it will no longer fit. A denture supported by dental implants will last much longer.
We’ve talked about a lot, but we haven’t mentioned the greatest, most life changing reason for implant supported dentures and partial dentures…
It can take patients a year or more to get used to trying to hold an upper denture in place. You have to train the muscles in your cheeks and lips to hold it in place while you eat and talk. As for the lower dentures, patients may never be able to get the hang of a lower denture, because tongues don’t want to share their space. Selfish tongues!
Implant supported dentures actually “snap” into the implants and is held in place!
How wonderful is this? Ask any patient that had conventional dentures and decided to have dental implants placed for better support and they will tell you it was the best decision they’ve ever made!! We know if you are currently or will someday be wearing dentures, implant supported dentures will be a great decision for you as well!
Call us today to schedule a consultation or visit our website to learn more about dental implants and implant supported dentures at http://www.theperfectsmilekc.com/Dental-implants/ .