Missing teeth can have greatly affect your life, as you will know if you already have a few gaps. You may even be considering how to restore your smile. If it looks like you might be losing some or all of your teeth soon, it’s worth starting to look at your options.
Two common solutions offered at clinics like Sheen Dental in Richmond are dental implants and dentures. Both methods are tried and tested but there are some important differences between them.
Dental implants are small, titanium screws that are placed in the jawbone. These are used as anchors for prosthetic teeth like a crown, bridge or denture. Some patients have teeth mounted on dentures that are removable but, usually, the replacements you have on dental implants stay in position like normal teeth.
Dentures are sets of prosthetic teeth that are usually removable. They are made from various materials like acrylic, metal, resin and plastic. Dentures can be full or partial depending on the number and location of your missing teeth.
When you have dental implants, you undergo a minor surgery to have them fitted. Healing takes anything from a few weeks to a couple of months. The length of recuperation depends on the extent of the work, location of the implants and your body’s natural abilities. Once they are fully healed you can treat them like normal teeth. No special techniques are required.
You can be fitted for, and supplied with, dentures quite rapidly depending on whether you need any extractions or other work first. Once you start wearing them, patience is required while you adapt. Your dentist will talk to you about preparing your food to make it easy to eat. You may need to speak more slowly to begin with. It is possible that they will feel strange in your mouth initially. All of this should become easier as you get used to gripping the dentures with your gums. If, after a few months, you still find yourself experiencing high levels of difficulty, soreness or excessive slippage, contact your dentist. Many of the issues that people have with dentures can be corrected with a better fit.
Whichever method you choose, your dentist will talk to you extensively about the merits and challenges of each.