Dentures are essentially an ancient technology. They’ve changed in materials and somewhat in function, but overall they’re the same as they’ve been for hundreds of years.
Dental implants, on the other hand, are modern technology and represent a huge improvement in overdentures.
One of the biggest problems with dentures is that they aren’t secure. They sit loosely in your mouth on top of your gums, held in place by suction. This suction depends on a tight seal between your gums and the denture, and it’s easily disrupted.
When the suction is disrupted, dentures can move freely in your mouth. They can even move out of your mouth. Talking, laughing, coughing, or sneezing can easily send your dentures flying. People often use adhesives and creams to try to secure dentures, but this is messy and potentially toxic if used improperly. And at best, it’s only partly successful.
Dental implants, on the other hand, are very secure. They are anchored in your jawbone as your body grows bone that binds to the implant root, made of titanium or an advanced zirconia ceramic. As long as they’re healthy, implants are even more secure than your natural teeth.
Dentures are notorious for the limits they pose on the foods you can eat. There are many things that people eat every day with natural teeth that they can’t eat with dentures. You understand that you might have to give up corn on the cob, whole apples, and steak, but what about peanut butter? Anything with seeds or nuts? Crusty bread or even any thick bread? All of these can be difficult to eat with dentures.
But with dental implants, you can eat all your favorite foods. Anything you can eat with your natural teeth, you can eat with dental implants. If you had to give up some foods since you got dentures, you’ll love being able to add them back to your menu with dental implants.
Dentures can be annoying to maintain. You not only have to brush them every time you would normally brush your teeth, but you also have to soak them overnight to help keep them from getting smelly. And you should clean your dentures after every meal so they don’t get food stuck to them and give you bad breath. You also have to avoid foods that can get stuck under the denture. This not only leads to bad breath, but it can also be painful and contribute to oral infections.
Dental implant maintenance is the same as for your natural teeth. Brush, floss, and make regular dental checkups. They can be set up so you keep them in all night. You never have to remove them. Your dentist will remove them only as necessary for maintenance.
Dentures can make you look older. In the first place, they’re usually not set up to completely replace your natural teeth. And even if they are, the lack of stimulation leads your body to remove bone that is used to support your teeth. This causes your face to collapse, and dentures can’t prevent you from looking older than you are.
But dental implants can help keep you from aging prematurely. They can be set up to completely replace your missing teeth. And they stimulate your jawbone so your body doesn’t remove it. This helps you look younger for longer.
Dentures are relatively short-lived. Because your body is removing the unused bone that is used to support your teeth, your jaw changes shape constantly when you wear dentures. This means that dentures have to be refitted as often as every six months to maintain even the poor fit they usually achieve. Even with regular refits and repairs, your dentures are unlikely to last for more than 8 years.
Once dental implants successfully bond to your jawbone, they can be there for life. Studies show that they can reliably last up to 30 years, and some individuals have had their dental implants for 40 or 50 years.
You can expect to have minor repairs or adjustments to the restorations on top of the implants. With quality restorations, you may require as few as one adjustment or repair each decade. These quality restorations can last as long as 30 years with proper maintenance.
Dental implants are great, but they’re not necessarily for everyone. Your success with dental implants depends on being a good candidate and on working with a skilled implant dentist. That’s why you should talk to Nicolas A. Ravon, DDS, MSD in Beverly Hills. With world-class training and experience, Dr. Ravon is a periodontist–a specialist in gums and bone around teeth or implants–who utilizes the latest science, technology, and techniques to place dental implants. He can help you decide if dental implants are the best choice for you.