If your teeth are failing, it is only natural to start to wonder whether they are worth saving. After all, root canals, crowns, fillings, and other procedures are time-consuming, pricey, and often frustrating. The idea of having them all pulled and paying once for a set of dentures can start to sound pretty attractive. Unfortunately, as is often true in life, this is truly a case of wishful thinking.
The reality of dentures is that they are not a one-time investment of time and money. They represent a lifelong commitment to coping with other issues instead. Trading in your teeth for dentures means trading one set of problems for another. Here is the harsh reality.
Dentures Are Not Teeth
Although they were the gold standard for replacing missing teeth until recently, dentures have never been remotely the same thing as actual teeth. Resting on your gums, even the best-fitted dentures tend to slip, pinch, and irritate the mouth. They restore only a fraction of your bite strength, making it nearly impossible to eat tough meat, sticky candy, and many other foods. Their tendency to slip can cause embarrassment when talking or laughing, and can make it tough to eat foods like corn on the cob and ribs.
Bone Loss Is Inevitable
Your teeth have roots that extend into your jawbone. When they are pulled, your body thinks that some of that bone is no longer required, and it begins to resorb into the body. Over time, this inevitably leads to premature aging and a sunken, drawn look around the mouth.
Regular Adjustments Are Required
Due to this bone loss, one set of dentures will not continue to fit properly for a lifetime. Instead, you must have your dentures relined, which means adding extra soft material along the inside of the denture plate, on a regular basis. Exactly how often depends on your individual oral anatomy and rate of bone loss. Failure to keep up with relining will cause problems in fit and retention, making it more likely that your dentures will slip or even fall out.
Dental Implants Are a Solution
While they are still not as good as your natural teeth, dental implants have become the new gold standard in tooth replacement. The implant takes the place of the tooth root, osseointegrating with the jawbone. This prevents bone loss and provides a strong, stable anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can replace up to 99% of bite strength, allowing you to eat difficult foods with ease. They will not slip or fall out, allowing your self-confidence to be restored. One dental implant can replace a single tooth, and just a handful of implants can secure even a full arch of replacement teeth.
Nothing beats your own natural teeth. If they can be saved, they certainly should be. However, if your teeth are truly starting to fail, dental implants may be the best solution. Ask your dentist what is best for you.
Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.