Getting a full denture made is something many individuals want to avoid. While they are time-tested, effective, and inexpensive by dental standards, they come with an equal number of downsides.
From problems with self confidence, eating, speaking, and even the sometimes involved cleaning routine, dentures might simply be more of a struggle than they are worth– especially for individuals who have other options.
If you’re suffering from mild to severe tooth loss but want a more comfortable and realistic solution to dentures, keep reading the article below.
The Struggle With Dentures
There are several reasons why individuals may be hesitant to purchase full or partial dentures. Main concerns include:
- Bone loss
Because dentures sit on top of the gums, no direct stimulation is provided to the underlying jaw. This causes well over 50% bone loss after the first several years of use.
- Discomfort while eating or speaking
As dentures sit over the gums, a good fit is integral to the prosthetics staying in place. Unfortunately, a good fit is hard to come by. The result is dentures that are either too loose, too tight, cause sores, or even require additional denture adhesive to stay in place.
- Added maintenance and cleaning responsibilities
Proper care for dentures can be quite involved for some individuals. For proper cleaning, you must remove dentures fully, then soak, brush, and when applicable, clean leftover adhesive.
- Need for replacement every 5 to 8 years
While dentures are initially the most inexpensive option, this is only in the short term. Dentures need to be replaced and remade every 5 to 8 years meaning they will require additional investment over time.
So what options are left? Several, actually.
Bridges provide a way to use the adjacent natural teeth to support artificial teeth to eliminate gaps. This is done by placing a crown or implant adjacent to the missing teeth, then using them as anchors to hold a prosthetic in place. These prosthetics are then bonded together creating what is called a “fixed bridge.”
The downside with dental bridges however, is that it either requires your healthy teeth to be shaved down where crowns are used, or, it requires a long healing process to fully establish the dental implants.
Dental implants are, admittedly, an involved procedure. However, for those physically and financially able to take this tooth replacement option, they will be happy to find that dental implants can last a lifetime.
As seen in the previous graphic, implants are held in place by titanium rods drilled directly into the jaw bone. This provides bone stimulation to reduce bone loss in addition to a long-term anchor for your replacement teeth.
Overall oral health is usually far higher in individuals with implants as they only require the same care as your natural teeth once established. This includes basic oral hygiene such as good brushing habits and regular visits to the dentist.
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. The more that are needed, the more costly they become. Furthermore, as the implant rods need to be drilled directly into the jaw bone, this is not a procedure recommended for those with poor bone health. Finally, the implants themselves can take 3 to 6 months to fully heal before a tooth is put into place.
If there are very few to no remaining teeth and you are not a candidate for dental implants, overdentures are the final option available.
The main difference between overdentures and traditional dentures is the whether or not they can be removed. Because overdentures are secured in place with miniature implant rods, they are permanent once installed in the mouth.
The major upside to overdentures is that because they rely on implants to hold them in place, this stimulates the jaw bone to prevent the bone loss traditionally seen with other forms of dentures. These implants are fewer and smaller than traditional implants and thus cause fewer complications and shorter healing times.
Overdentures allow for more natural and carefree daily activities, such as speaking and eating, because there is no risk that the dentures will shift or fall out of place.
Find a Dentist to Smile With Confidence
Understanding your options for denture alternatives is an important part in the decision making process when examining your long term dental care options.
East Valley Dental is a family owned dental office located in Mesa Arizona. Established in the 1980s, we take great pride in having clients receive the best dental care and the best service.
If you are in Mesa, AZ, and are considering dental bonding or dental veneers, or are still not sure which procedure is best for you, contact EVDP to schedule an appointment or consultation. Find out more about dental bonding and veneers and let us help you improve your natural and health smile.