Find out if dental implants or dentures are right for you.
Many people are surprised to learn that millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss. Whether you are missing a tooth from trauma or tooth decay, we all strive for a smile that makes us feel confident and comfortable. Fortunately, advanced technology in dentistry makes it possible to restore missing teeth with wonderful treatment options like dental implants or dentures. If you are in need of a single tooth replacement or full-arch rehabilitation, you can rest knowing Duvall Dental Center offers plenty of excellent treatment options to give you the glowing smile you desire.
The recommended dental treatment for you will depend on your needs (whether you are missing one or more teeth), your medical and dental history, and your financial budget. Both dental implants and dentures have exceptional abilities to help patients regain their self-confidence and the ability to chew and speak comfortably.
Many people who are missing a single tooth in an aesthetic area opt for dental implants over dentures because they are a permanent solution. If you are missing several or all of your teeth, dentures may be recommended to maintain your facial contour and restore your teeth. Dentures can be a temporary solution until you are ready to invest in a smile makeover with implant-retained dentures.
Dental implants are a wonderful option for missing teeth because they are a natural-looking, permanent solution. When you experience tooth loss, you may also encounter changes in the surrounding structures of your mouth, like your gums and jawbone. Dental implants provide a stable foundation for your other teeth, so there is less risk for shifting teeth. Dental implants not only restore tooth function, but they also keep the jawbone from deteriorating. Depending on a person’s dental needs and budget, some people will opt for an implant-retained denture because it provides extra stability and comfort when eating and speaking.
The dental implant process will vary slightly based on the amount of implants you need. Regardless, your dentist will review the pre-operative and post-care processes with you to ensure the greatest success of the implant. The steps to receive an a dental implant include:
1. Dental Imaging
Your dentist will take a series of radiographs, including periapical radiographs (targeted X-rays to capture an image of the entire tooth from crown to root) and possibly a 3D cone beam X-ray. This will determine the exact site for the dental implant and the surrounding structures to ensure it is placed safely and precisely.
2. Dental Extraction
If you need a dental extraction first, your dentist will carefully remove the tooth and wait for the extraction site to heal. This is usually the first surgical step of your dental implant process.
3. Bone Graft
Many people will require an alveolar bone graft to help create a solid layer of bone for the implant to be placed into once a dental extraction is complete. This will help the implant successfully osseointegrate and will ensure the greatest success for implant retention. This procedure step usually requires up to six months of healing before the dental implant can be placed.
4. Dental Implant Placement
Once your dentist determines that your jawbone is strong enough for an implant to be placed, a titanium screw will be drilled into the bone of the missing tooth site. A healing cap will be screwed to the implant screw, and your gum will be sutured and allowed to heal for two to six months. This healing time will allow the implant screw to secure itself into the jawbone.
5. Dental Crown
Once the dental implant is secured to the bone through osseointegration, your dentist will place an abutment. An abutment is a tooth prosthetic that will attach to a dental crown, which is what will restore your tooth’s feel and function. A dental crown will be custom-made to match the shade of your teeth to give your new tooth a natural appearance.
A dental implant has great success if the placement conditions are optimal, meaning there is no chronic inflammation or underlying medical conditions that can affect the success of the implant. With good overall health, good dental health, and a stable jawbone, dental implants can have a success rate of up to 95%. A dental implant is a permanent prosthetic solution designed to last a lifetime!
Dentures work by fitting over the bony ridge of missing teeth using fabricated teeth and gingiva to restore your appearance and function. A denture that is properly fitted can improve your quality of life by providing the comfort you need to socialize, chew, and speak comfortably.
At Duvall Dental Center, dentures are a cost-effective way to replace many missing teeth and is a quick, simple treatment for many people. With proper care, dentures can last up to 10 years, giving you a natural smile and helping you maintain your general dental health.
The complexity of the denture process will depend on if it’s your first set of dentures and if you are getting partial dentures to replace a few teeth or full dentures to replace an entire arch. Getting dentures can take a few weeks, as the process will require a custom fit and fabrication to deliver dentures you’ll be happy with for many years. These steps include:
- Dental impression: Your dentist will take a preliminary impression of your mouth. This will serve as a guide to fabricate your new denture(s). You will always need an impression of both arches to establish a proper height and bite for your dentures.
- Selection of denture teeth: With your dentist, you will be able to choose the proper shade and shape for your dentures so they can match your natural teeth for a realistic appearance.
- Initial denture fitting: Once you select your teeth, the laboratory will place the teeth in the wax-up for a fitting to determine if you need any adjustments.
- Final adjustment: If you are comfortable with the fit after the first few adjustments, your denture will be sent to the laboratory, where a dental cast made of an acrylic resin will be created. The denture will then be inserted and adjusted as needed.
Adjusting to new dentures can be challenging initially, but with time, your mouth will be more comfortable with them. With proper care (cleaning them, removing them at night, and attending routine dental visits), your dentures can last up to 10 years. This is a great economical solution for people who want to improve their oral health and aesthetics.
A removable partial denture is fabricated from acrylic plastic or a lightweight vitallium with metal clasps. The impression, wax, and try-on process is similar to a full denture, but anchoring teeth may need to be prepped or crowned for the clasps to fit.
Get the dental treatment you deserve!
Both dental implants and dentures are great treatment options for people looking for a single tooth replacement or a full smile makeover. At Duvall Dental Center, we take pride in giving our patients the personalized care you deserve and the confident smile you desire!
For more information or to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact us today!