Category Archives: dental implants

What Does a Cosmetic Dentist Do?

man in dental chair getting teeth professionally whitened

Simply put, cosmetic dentists help restore smiles. They use state-of-the-art techniques that can transform years of troubled teeth into a beaming mouth of pearly whites. It’s like a smile makeover! Wide gaps, misshapen teeth, and deep discoloration are all things that cosmetic dentists address. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the techniques that these specialty dentists use to help patients smile again. 

Dental Veneers

Also known as porcelain veneers or laminate, dental veneers can give new life to teeth that need some extra attention, such as: 

  • Teeth with gaps
  • Misshapen or uneven teeth
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Discolored teeth 

Veneers are porcelain coverings that bond to your teeth. They look just like real teeth but can be designed, shaded, and shaped to give you perfect-looking teeth. The best part is that once the cosmetic dentist finishes the veneers, you are good to go without any special care – just brush and floss like normal. 

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are caps that go over the real tooth, but give it a better appearance. While crowns in dentistry do serve other purposes, such as restoring shape and strengthening a tooth, they can greatly – and positively – impact the visual aspect of your smile. 

Teeth Whitening or Bleaching

Coffee, tea, wine, foods, and even certain medications can stain teeth. And while there are many over-the-counter teeth whitening tools on the market, they don’t always provide you with the results you are looking for. 

Professional whitening or bleaching under the care of a cosmetic dentist can leave you with instantly brighter, natural-looking teeth with long-lasting results. 

For many people, getting that refreshed look and feel from whitening by a cosmetic dentist is all that is needed for confidence levels to soar. 

Dental Implants

Losing teeth happens to many people as they age – whether it is one tooth or many teeth. Some people turn to dentures or even partials but find that they move and slip and are just not as comfortable as having real teeth. 

Cosmetic dentists can provide dental implants that get placed directly into the gum where the missing tooth should be. These implants look and feel like real teeth – and can last a lifetime with the right care. 

Dental implants are not new, but they are a highly successful and sought-after option for those looking to transform their smiles. 

Replacing Outdated and Unsightly Dental Work

For years, the go-to method of filling cavities meant using the silver-mercury amalgam filling. This method of filling teeth was never a safe, secure option as the metal didn’t bond well with teeth. As a result, teeth would still begin to decay over time, and eventually, the fillings fell out.

Though, perhaps it is the stark contrast between white teeth and dark fillings that make the use of the metal a poor choice for aesthetic reasons. Many people who have had this type of dental find that it makes them a bit self-conscious about their smile. 

Cosmetic dentistry works to remove all this old dental work and replace it with a durable composite resin that bonds tightly to the tooth, sealing it from decay and giving your tooth a solid white, healthy appearance. Unless you tell someone, no one will ever know you had a cavity filled. 

Cosmetic Dentistry at Savannah Dental Solutions

Have you been dreaming of regaining your beautiful smile? Make it happen with the cosmetic dentistry team at Savannah Dental Solutions. Schedule a consultation to see how we can transform your smile. Call our office today at (912) 354-1366 or contact us online.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost in Savannah, GA?

dentist showing female patient model of dental implant

Missing teeth can be more than just unsightly, causing low self-esteem and compounding issues with your oral health. Although dentures can be used to temporarily fill gaps, many people have found success with dental implants as a permanent replacement. Even better: dental implants cost less when considering the long-term fees associated with traditional methods of teeth replacement!

What Are Dental Implants?

When the root of a tooth is damaged beyond repair and needs to be removed, a dental implant can be an effective alternative to dentures. Dental implants are small titanium posts that are attached to the jaw, upon which replacement teeth can be placed. Dental implants are more stable than dentures, and can be used to replace missing teeth without damaging the gums or putting further strain on existing teeth.

What is the Average Cost of Dental Implants?

You might be surprised to learn that dental implants are not as expensive as you think, especially when considering their longevity and effectiveness compared to other teeth replacement options. The procedure involved with a dental implant has many parts, each with their own individual pricing. In Savannah, GA, these average prices are:

  • Post: $2,000
  • Abutment / Crown: $2,200
  • Bone Graft: $300
  • Tooth Extraction: $75
  • CT Scan: $300
  • X-Ray: $25

When properly taken care of, dental implants can last a lifetime, saving you time and money down the road. Although prices can vary considerably depending on the type of implant, how many teeth need replacement, and any additional work needed to prepare for their insertion, you can expect each implant to cost about $4,800. 

Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Unfortunately, many dental insurance companies still recognize dental implants as an elective procedure, though some may offer partial coverage of components such as the crown. There is hope for the future, however, as insurance companies begin to realize the long-term efficiency and cost effectiveness of dental implants.

To help pay for the cost, you can also consider requesting partial coverage toward the dental implants equal to the price of similar, insurance-approved procedures or teeth replacements such as dentures or a dental bridge. You can also consult your insurance company about other potential options, or seek out an insurance company that offers dental implant coverage.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Even if insurance can’t cover the entire cost of dental implants, you still have other options to help make them affordable:

  1. Dental Loans. These loans are specifically tailored to cover expensive dental procedures, including dental implants.
  2. Healthcare Credit Cards. There are many credit card plans with low payment options designed to help pay off the cost of implants.
  3. Payment Plans. Many dentists provide in-house payment plans to their patients that can be paid off over time through small monthly payments.

Dental Implants From Savannah Dental Solutions

If you’re looking for a permanent solution to missing teeth, dental implants may be right for you. The experienced team at Savannah Dental Solutions will walk you through the procedure, providing affordable estimates and answering any questions you might have. Call us at (912) 354-1366 to schedule a consultation, or contact us online.

How Much Does Cosmetic Dentistry Cost in Savannah, GA?

Cosmetic dentistry involves any dental operation that improves your smile. Because it is not covered by traditional dental insurance, it is important to know just how much cosmetic dentistry costs. While costs vary by multiple factors, knowing which procedure you have in mind can help determine potential prices. Here’s what to expect for the average cost of some common cosmetic procedures.

Teeth Whitening and Bleaching

Looking for a brighter smile? Looking to fix yellowing or stained teeth? Teeth whitening and bleaching involve the use of chemical agents to alter the color of your teeth. The best advantage of dental bleaching is a customized mold of your teeth that you wear as you sleep. This mold assures that the bleaching agent stays in place, maximizing your whitening process and comfort. Results will occur in as little as two weeks, with occasional maintenance and cleaning. Estimated cost: $200-600.

Implants

Dental implants are complete artificial replacements for teeth. A permanent alternative to dentures, implants provide stability without placing strain on other teeth or injuring the gums. While implants can take some time to heal, there are special types of implants that can be used immediately after being placed. Estimated cost: $2800/tooth.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding, also known as cosmetic or composite bonding, is the use of resin to restore the shape and color of your teeth. It is a popular alternative to fillings with several applications. Composite bonding can close in gaps between teeth, lengthen or change their shape, and replace parts of the teeth that have been chipped or broken. Metal caps or plating can also be replaced, giving a more natural, pleasing look. Estimated cost: $200-600/tooth.

Composite and Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are thin, tooth-like caps bonded to your natural teeth. They can be made of composite resin or porcelain, and are handcrafted to maximize your smile’s aesthetic appeal, shape, and tint. Resin veneers are less expensive but lack some of the customization options of porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are both durable and resistant to stains. Regardless of material, veneers are a long-term investment and last years. Estimated cost: $500-2000/tooth. 

Is Cosmetic Dentistry Worth the Cost?

There are many reasons why cosmetic dentistry may benefit a patient. While everyone has specific needs regarding their dental health, small aesthetic changes can make a huge difference in daily life. Whether it is to improve self-confidence or to make a strong first impression in a professional setting, cosmetic dentistry is an important investment in oneself. Procedures like veneers or bonding provide long-lasting effects and can even prevent future damage to your smile.

Schedule a Consultation With Savannah Dental Solutions Today

If you’re looking for a dental office with a wide range of cosmetic services, Savannah Dental Solutions has the expertise you need. We provide focused attention to all your dental needs and treat you like more than just a patient. At our offices, we can proactively address your concerns, relieve your fears, and make your dental health a positive experience. Contact us at (912) 354-1366 to schedule an appointment today.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Are you considering getting one or more dental implants? As far as replacement teeth are concerned, dental implants are the gold standard. When placed correctly with the proper preparation and precision, dental implants can last for a lifetime. 

3d Rendering of Dental Implant

If you’re wondering whether a dental implant is worth the cost, keep in mind that you are making what is most likely a lifelong investment in your oral health. Other tooth replacement options do not have as long of a life expectancy and lack some other benefits of implants. 

The Average Life Expectancy of Dental Implants

How long do dental implants last? On average, dental implants can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. This means that if you are at or above the average age for dental implants (52), there is a good chance, you will have that implant for the rest of your life. 

The reason dental implants last so long is that, when properly placed, they are extremely secure. An implant consists of a biocompatible titanium post that is implanted in the jawbone with a crown attached to the top. The implant root bonds with the jawbone to form a solid hold that looks and functions as closely as possible to a natural tooth. 

Factors That Affect How Long a Dental Implant Lasts

How long your implant lasts within that range depends on a few factors, such as:

  • Bone Density. A dental implant requires sufficient bone density or thickness to be securely placed. If a tooth has been missing or loose for a while, the jaw bone that once held it in place starts to weaken and will eventually dissolve. An implant that is placed in a weak or thin bone will likely fail and either come loose or cause other problems. 

  • During a dental implant evaluation, X-Rays images are taken of the jaw to determine if the bone is strong enough to support an implant. If not, a bone graft can sometimes be done to strengthen the bone. In a bone graft procedure a piece of bone, either from another bone on the patient’s body, an artificial bone, or a lab-treated animal bone, is surgically placed over the existing jaw bone to thicken it and encourage regeneration of the existing bone. 
  • Oral Hygiene. After a dental implant is placed, it is important to maintain adequate oral hygiene. With a dental implant you can brush and floss your teeth the same as you would your natural teeth, and doing so is extremely important. If you develop gum disease or the teeth on either side of the implant start to decay, it can cause the implant to come loose or become infected. 
  • Accuracy of Placement. It is extremely important for your dental implant to be placed accurately. Therefore, it is important to choose a dentist with plenty of experience with dental implant procedures. You should also ask your dentist what technology they used to ensure your dental implant will be placed at the right depth and angle. This can make all the difference in how long your dental implant will last. 
 

Additional Benefits of Dental Implants Over Other Tooth Replacement Options

Their longevity is just one of the many benefits of dental implants as a tooth replacement option. When compared with a bridge, a dental implant is better in every way. The only advantage a bridge has over a dental implant is that it costs less. 

A bridge requires the healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth to be ground down and fitted with crowns that suspend the artificial tooth between them. This puts strain on the healthy teeth that can eventually lead to damage. 

A bridge also sits above the gum line, which means the bone underneath will still weaken and dissolve. A dental implant, however, keeps the jaw bone strong and viable, allowing it to last longer. 

Dental Implants From Savannah Dental Solutions Last for the Long Haul 

How long do dental implants last? When you have the procedure done at Savannah Dental Solutions, you can expect it to last for the prominent part of the average range of 15-30 years and probably longer. We apply our knowledge and experience to place your dental implant accurately so it will most likely stay solidly in place for the rest of your life. 

Call (912) 354-1366 today to schedule a consultation or contact us. We look forward to providing you with the gold standard in tooth replacement technology.

Dental Implants Step by Step

The process of placing a dental implant takes time. You won’t be able to go through all of the steps during a single appointment. After an initial consultation with your dental implant dentist, here is an overview of the steps that you can expect to see during the process of getting a new dental implant. 

Tooth Extraction

If the tooth you’re replacing with a dental implant is still in your mouth, you will need to have the tooth extracted first. Depending on the tooth’s location and the complexity of the extraction, you might be able to have the tooth extraction performed with a local anesthetic at your regular dentist’s office. In some cases, the dentist might be able to perform other steps of the process of getting dental implants during this appointment. 

Bone Grafting

Some patients require a bone graft to have enough usable jawbone to place a dental implant. The healing time between bone grafting and placing a dental implant varies based on a variety of factors. However, you can expect the process to take months, not days. The larger the bone graft, the more time it will take to heal. 

Dental Implant Placement

Once the bone graft heals, your dental implant dentist will place the actual dental implant. The process typically takes between one and two hours to complete. If you need more than one dental implant placed, this will happen at the same appointment. It will make the procedure take more time. Your dentist will give you instructions on what foods you should avoid eating and provide prescriptions for any pain relievers you may need.

Period of Healing

To be successful, dental implants need a chance to heal and become a permanent part of your jaw. This may take around 6 months or longer. Your dental implant dentist will check how well you’re healing. If you need more time before a crown can be placed, you’ll need to wait until your dentist gives you permission to go ahead. During this time, you will have a temporary dental crown in place so it won’t be obvious that you have a dental implant.

Abutment and Crown Placement

Once your dentist decides that it is time to move forward with completing the process, you will have an appointment scheduled for placing the abutment and crown on top of the dental implant. Your dentist will remove the temporary crown first and thoroughly clean the area surrounding the implant. Once the crown has been placed, you can successfully use your dental implant just like any other tooth without any additional restrictions. You may receive special care instructions to keep your dental implant functioning at its best.

Ready to Get Started?

If you have questions about the process of getting dental implants, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 to reach a reliable dental implant dentist in Savannah, GA. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will guide you through the entire process and answer all of your questions about dental implants.

Pros and Cons of Dentures vs Dental Implants

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, two popular dental solutions are dentures and dental implants. While the decision of which procedure to choose might initially feel simple, it can actually be quite complex. One dental restoration isn’t inherently better than the other. Depending on the patient, the best option may vary. Here is an overview of the pros and cons of both dental implants and dentures. 

Dentures are More Affordable

There is no real discussion to be had about how expensive dental implants are relative to dentures. Traditional dentures are much more affordable than traditional dental implants. While the price of dentures may vary based on the dentist and the type of denture used, it is generally less than dental implants. For many patients, the performance difference and long lasting quality of implants make it a better choice.

Dental Implants Last Longer

As any good dental implant dentist can tell you, dental implants are considered permanent restorations. Even if the crown on top of the dental implant chips or breaks, the actual implant itself should remain intact. A pair of dentures is expected to last between five and eight years, depending on the patient. For this reason, dental implants could be less expensive as a choice, if you figure in the long-term costs associated with replacing dentures.

Not Everyone’s a Candidate for Dental Implants

Not every patient is a good candidate for dental implants. If there isn’t enough bone material available to place the implant, it’s possible that a bone graft can help to build up the area to prepare it for an implant. However, this doesn’t always work and isn’t an option for many patients. In these cases, dentures might be the better option. 

Dentures May Slip

Once placed, a dental implant will look and function like natural teeth. It could even be difficult for the untrained eye to notice that it isn’t a real tooth. Overall, patients describe dental implants as more comfortable than dentures. A pair of dentures must come out of your mouth at night and be cleaned. The dentures may slip around while you’re talking or eating. Going to the dentist regularly to have the dentures properly fitted can reduce some of this slippage. Plus, there are newer types of dentures that don’t need to be removed at night.

Dentures are Less Invasive

The process of placing a dental implant involves oral surgery. Getting dentures is a less invasive process, especially for those patients with significant bone loss or many missing teeth. Dentures can easily replace all of your teeth. If you have lost most of your teeth due to decay, gum disease, or trauma, it might make more sense to opt for dentures over individual dental implants. There are hybrid approaches where posts are placed to secure dentures that might offer a desirable compromise.

Ready to Get Started?

If you have questions about dentures or dental implants, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 to reach a trustworthy and experienced dental implant dentist in Savannah, GA. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will guide you through the entire process and answer all of your questions about each process.

All-on-Four Dental Implants: What to Expect

Graphic of lower teeth with dental implants.

Having dental implants placed can make a big difference if you need to have teeth replaced. After all, dental implants are one of the best solutions that you can get. However, people who need a lot of teeth replaced, like a whole row of teeth, can’t make it through all of the surgeries that it takes to have each individual tooth replaced. Instead, you can take advantage of the new All-on-4 dental implants. Here is a look at All-on-4 dental implants and what you can expect.

What are All-on-Four Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a device that is inserted directly into your jaw bone to hole a crown (fake tooth) in place. All-on-4 dental implants are a larger version that uses four individual dental implants to hold an entire row of teeth in place. So, instead of having each tooth replaced with an implant, you can have your entire top or bottom row replaced with a set of four implants. This offers a major benefit for people that need a lot of implants. Having that many surgeries may not be possible and would take more than a decade if it could be done. All-on4 dental implants make the process so smooth that you can have an entire row of teeth replaced in one day.

Don’t Need to Replace Teeth with Implants 1:1

Having a single dental implant placed is not a problem, but it requires a significant amount of time to heal. A skilled dentist may be able to do several implants in one procedure, but you would need several procedures. This would make the process take years, if not, decades when you factor in all of the recovery and prep time. All-on-4 dental implants reduce all of that down to a single surgery. Sedation dentistry makes it possible to go in and replace your teeth quickly without pain or a long recovery time. Plus, only having one surgery limits the chance of experiencing problems due to extensive surgeries and continued exposure to anesthesia.

Prevents Future Bone Loss

When the root of a tooth is removed, the bone in your jaw recedes over time. Since there isn’t a tooth there to support, the body stops making the bone support for it. So, removing all of your teeth roots to put in implants means that your jaw will lose a lot of bone over time. With All-on-4 dental implants, future bone loss isn’t a problem. You only need four implants, so the remaining roots can stay. Your body will continue to support them, and you won’t have to worry about your jaw bone changing shape and shifting your teeth over time.

Want to Learn More?

Getting the All-on-4 dental implants can make a big difference for your dental health. However, it is still a serious dental surgery and not everyone is a candidate for it. If you want to learn more about All-on-4 dental implants as well as how we can help you improve your dental health, contact Savannah Dental Solutions today at (912) 354-1366 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Understanding the Differences Between Traditional and Implant-Supported Dentures

For centuries, dentures were the only solution for missing teeth. Yet denture wearers are all to familiar with the pinching, slipping, and difficulty chewing that dentures often present. Today, there is another option. Here are the major differences between traditional and implant-supported dentures.

Senior woman studio portrait

Traditional Dentures

The earliest dentures were used around the 7th century BC. By the early 19th century, they were common among those who were able to pay for them. The 20th century brought prices down through mass production, while advances in technology created a far better-fitting and more realistic appearance. Today, highly life-like dentures placed by a skilled dentist can be reasonably comfortable and provide a good deal of chewing ability. They are affordable and many patients find them acceptable.

Still, traditional dentures have a number of problems. Since they rest on your gums, bite force is limited, and slippage is always a risk. Upper dentures are more stable than lower dentures, as an acrylic palate uses suction to adhere to the roof of your mouth. But this palate affects the taste and texture sensations of food and can feel irritating. Some people even find that their gag reflex is triggered by the palate.

In addition, when tooth roots are lost, the body begins to lose bone density in the jaw through a process known as resorption. This can cause facial sagging and wrinkles, and lead to a constant cycle of denture readjustment.

Implant-Supported Dentures

Instead of resting on the gums or relying on an acrylic palate, implant-supported dentures are anchored by titanium dental implants. These tiny screws actually integrate into the jawbone, taking the place of tooth roots. This provide a strong, stable foundation for the dentures, virtually eliminating slippage and restoring nearly full bite strength. In addition, the implants reverse the process of bone loss, ensuring that the jawbone remains strong.

Implant-supported dentures are available in two main types. Removable overdentures, also known as implant-retained or snap-on dentures, can be supported by as few as two dental implants. Using clasps or similar devices, the denture snaps onto the supports. You can remove the denture for cleaning or sleeping, but while it is in your mouth, the implants help to provide stability and bite force. This is a cost-effective solution for many patients.

Fixed implant-supported dentures, or fixed implant bridges, are permanently attached to implants. This type of denture is somewhat more expensive, as it requires more implants to secure the bridge. However, it is also the most similar to natural teeth. It will restore nearly all of your original bite force, is not removed for cleaning or sleeping, and is virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.

Benefits of Implant-Supported Dentures

Whether you choose a fixed or removable implant-supported denture, you will notice the difference right away. Your teeth will feel strong and stable, and you will regain the confidence to speak and laugh naturally. You will be able to eat foods you might have long since given up on, and your face will appear younger and fuller. While traditional dentures are certainly better than missing teeth, why not consider investing in a solution that is more comfortable, more natural, and more secure?

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.

What to Expect From a Dental Implant Procedure

In modern dentistry, a dental implant is considered the gold standard to replace a missing or failing tooth. Individual dental implants can be used to replace any number of teeth from one to an entire arch. Implant-supported overdentures and fixed bridges are more cost-effective solutions for spans of missing teeth. Regardless of which procedure you choose, however, the general process is very similar.

What to Expect From a Dental Implant Procedure

Evaluation and Planning

The first step is to determine whether you are a good candidate for implants, and what steps need to occur before you are ready for the implant placement. Your dentist will take detailed X-rays and scans to learn the current condition of your mouth. You will then work together to develop a plan of action. At this stage, it is very important to ask questions and express your concerns to ensure that you end up with the best possible plan for your unique needs.

Extraction and Repair

The success rate for dental implants is extremely high, but they need to be given the best possible chances for success. To guard against infection and possible failure, they must be placed in a healthy mouth. Therefore, if you need other dental work such as fillings or root canals, your dentist will take care of those projects first.

Since dental implants replace teeth, your failing teeth must be extracted. In most cases, this is a simple matter that needs only local anesthesia. However, if your extractions are complicated or you are nervous, you can opt for sedation. Discuss this with your dentist during your planning appointment to learn exactly what your choices are and whether you will need someone to drive you home.

Possible Bone Grafting

Most people do not need bone grafting, which replaces jawbone that was lost due to severe decay or trauma. If you need it, though, you must have it done, as the implant must be able to fuse into bone. This procedure is relatively simple, but it requires several months of healing time.

Implant Placement

Dental implants are usually placed under local anesthesia. After thoroughly numbing your mouth, your dentist will cut a precise flap in your gum tissue, and then use a series of drills to gently open a hole in your jawbone. The implant is then screwed in and secured, and the gum tissue is stitched back together.

The implant may be topped with either a cover screw or a healing cap. A cover screw is a flat piece that protects the implant during healing. A healing cap is similar, but is shaped like an abutment, which is the piece that eventually connects the implant to the crown. This allows your gums to heal in just the right position for your final restoration.

Depending on how many teeth were extracted, and where they are positioned in your mouth, you might receive a temporary partial or full denture to wear during healing. This ensures that you are never without teeth.

Abutment and Crown

After your mouth heals for a few months, you will be ready for an abutment and crown. This is a relatively minor procedure in which the dentist will reopen the gum tissue and replace the healing cap or cover screw with an abutment. The final crown is then fitted on top.

For those who are having multiple teeth replaced, the dentist will have placed two or more implants at strategic spots in your mouth. You will receive abutments for all of the implants, along with a dental bridge or overdenture, at this time.

All-on-4

All-on-4 is an excellent alternative to the traditional implant process for those who need an entire arch of teeth replaced. After your teeth are extracted, your dentist can immediately place four implants at key points along your upper or lower arch. These immediate-load implants are capable of taking the pressure of regular eating and chewing with no waiting period.

You will receive a fixed set of acrylic teeth immediately, so you can begin eating normally as soon as you feel ready, which is typically within a day or two. You have the option of having the acrylic teeth replaced with porcelain teeth in a few weeks or months for an even more natural look and feel.

Dental implants are considered the gold standard in modern tooth replacement. Many people are afraid or unsure of the process, but we are confident that you will find it quite simple and easy. We encourage you to ask as many questions as you like to ensure that dental implants are the right choice 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.

Dental Implants vs. Dentures: Which Should I Choose?

Choose implants or dentures?

For many years, the only solution for failing or missing teeth was a partial or full set of dentures. Today, however, most people have another option. While dentures rest on the gums and can be unstable, dental implants actually replace the tooth roots, giving the final restoration a strong, supportive base. Yet dental implants are not right for everyone. When deciding between dentures and dental implants, keep the following considerations in mind.

Existing Dental Health
Dental implants can only be placed inside a healthy mouth with strong gums and bones. For this reason, many patients undergo a period of wearing dentures, even if they plan to move on to implants in the future. This allows you to break up extensive dental work over time, and allows your mouth to heal between the time diseased teeth are removed and the time implants are placed. This is not always necessary, depending on your individual situation and your dentist’s preferences.

If you have lost a significant amount of jawbone to dental disease, you might need bone grafting before your new dental implants can be placed. In addition, some people need a sinus lift or other oral restructuring. In this case, you might temporarily wear dentures until your procedures are completed.

In rare cases, the existing structures in the mouth simply do not allow for the placement of dental implants. If this happens, your dentist will work hard to craft dentures that fit perfectly into your mouth and allow you to regain as much functionality as possible.

Cost
Although prices are coming down and more insurers have begun to cover dental implants, they remain a more expensive option than dentures. If cost is a concern, talk to your dentist about a mid-range solution such as implant-supported removable dentures. These require far fewer implants, and thus have a lower price tag, than fixed solutions, while restoring most of the functionality of natural teeth.

Aesthetics
Although surprisingly lifelike dentures are now available, many people feel that anything removable in the mouth takes away from the natural aesthetics of real teeth. In addition, dentures that are unsupported by implants can shift and slide when you chew, laugh, or talk. If you have a partial denture, the clasp that connects it to your existing teeth can show. For these reasons, the aesthetics of implants are considered far superior to those of traditional dentures.

Comfort
Dentures sit on the gums with no additional support, which can be quite uncomfortable. Many people find that their dentures slip and rub, creating sore spots. These problems are worsened when eating tough foods such as steak, as well as crunchy or chewy foods. Dental implants are integrated into the jawbone, providing a secure base for the final restoration that vastly improves comfort.

Strength and Stability
From corn on the cob to taffy, many people find that they have to give up favorite foods when they get dentures. Traditional dentures provide only 25 percent or less of your natural bite strength. Chewing can be difficult, especially if the dentures slip. With stable, secure implants, you can regain more than 90 percent of your bite strength, without the fear of a tough or chewy food causing your teeth to slip.

Future Oral Health
When teeth are removed, the underlying structures that supported those teeth begin to resorb into the body. Over time, this process can cause severe loss of gum tissues and jawbone. This can give the face a sunken appearance, promote wrinkles, and cause even the most carefully crafted dentures to become loose.

In addition, dentures can cause sores in the mouth, and even lead to chronic inflammation known as denture stomatitis. These conditions can make wearing the dentures uncomfortable, add challenges to your daily oral hygiene routine, and even increase your risk for gum disease underneath the dentures. Dental implants solve these problems by providing a secure, stable foundation that closely resembles the natural tooth structure.

Each person’s dental situation is unique, and what is right for one person may not be the best choice for another. Your dentist will carefully assess your mouth and make a professional recommendation. In many cases, however, whether to choose dental implants or dentures is left up to the patient to decide.

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.