Patients with missing teeth very often want the gaps left behind filling with replacement, false teeth of some kind. These are normally teeth implants of dentures. To a patient, these can seem quite similar, and even when the differences are explained, it can be hard to know which option is right. Dentists will advise on the right option, depending on the general health and age of the patient, the number of missing teeth and the quality and quantity of available jaw bone. A good piece of patient advice is to ensure that your dentist can clearly explain why he or she is suggesting one treatment over another.

The differences between teeth implants and dentures include the fact that dentures are removable and that implants are surgically and permanently implanted into the jaw bone to provide a fixed tooth replacement. This means that the procedures involved in the two options are very different: a removable denture can be measured and fitted in as little as two dental appointments as close together as one week whereas dental implants require three to six months’ worth of healing before the crown can be fitted. The procedure for teeth implants is surgical, carried out under local anesthetic and some pain and discomfort will be involved.

When the jawbone is not used as an anchor for teeth, natural or false, it shrinks away. Teeth implants are placed directly into the one so help to preserve the jaw. They are made from titanium which is hypoallergenic and which has the quality of being able to fuse directly with the bone. When removable dentures are used instead, there is nothing protecting the jawbone from shrinkage and over time the bone will shrink back and will change the shape of the mouth. This means that dentures will begin to move around and feel loose and will eventually have to be refitted. Although teeth implants are significantly more costly than dentures, they last longer. Most implants stay in place for the life of the patient, whereas dentures become loose and need replacing.

Not all patients are eligible for both options. For example, in order to work teeth implants need plenty of bone of good quality around the jaw. If shrinkage has already happened then the dentist may not recommend the treatment, although bone grafts are a possibility. Children and teenagers who have yet to finish growing are not eligible for implant treatment as continued growth of the bone could lead to subsidence of the false teeth. Dentures on the other hand are suitable for almost anyone missing more than three or four teeth.

Teeth implants are a highly successful treatment available to most patients.

Original Source: Statewide Dental