Tooth loss. It happens. This has been a problem for which a solution has been sought for ages (Really! Centuries!). It was only in the last 100 years that toothlessness started becoming an uncommon condition among adults. Since the early 1900s, dentistry has made great strides in helping people keep their teeth, and in resolving tooth loss with better and better replacements. We have made the transition from using animal teeth and ivory to using quality porcelain that lasts. Tooth replacement has also evolved in the way that artificial teeth are held in place.
Dentures may have improved in the way that they look, and many models fit better, too. However, the basic design is what it is, and that means there will continue to be limitations. Namely, the obstacle that denture wearers face is the degree of stabilization they gain from suction alone. That’s right, dentures are intended to stay in place with natural suction between the bony arch and the piece of acrylic that holds artificial teeth. If you have had the pleasure of wearing dentures yourself, you know that this doesn’t always work the way it is supposed to.
Ideally, whatever fixture is used to replace tooth structure should perform just like your natural teeth. The only way to achieve this goal is to successfully secure artificial teeth. This is where dental implants come in. Natural teeth are secured to the jawbone by their roots. When tooth loss occurs, roots also disappear, but the need for that substructure remains. Dental implants are the tiny posts that have been developed to sit in for missing roots. Secured by bone, these hidden fixtures can make a denture feel exactly like real teeth.
When you consider tooth replacement, you don’t have to choose between dental implants or dentures. A large majority of patients treated today actually combine the two in order to get the maximum benefit from dental care. Implant supported dentures can provide a lifetime of:
- Functional chewing, even of crunchy or dense foods.
- Confident speaking, smiling, and laughing.
- Comfortable wear without the need for denture adhesive.
- Support for bone regeneration in the jaw.