I Have Really Bad Teeth – What Are My Options?
Dentures vs. Repairing Bad Teeth
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 difficult truth about 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 vs. Real 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.
Should I Save My Teeth or Get Dentures?
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it necessary to replace missing teeth?
Yes, you should always replace missing teeth. Not only will it impact your ability to gain proper nutrition, but missing teeth can also cause bone loss, as well as leave any remaining teeth vulnerable to shifting. Whether your teeth have fallen out or have been extracted, you should always discuss your options with your dentist.
What is the difference between dentures and a dental bridge?
Dentures and dental bridges are both options for replacing missing teeth – and they can both be secured using dental implants, too. Dentures are used to replace all the teeth in your mouth, either top, bottom, or both. A dental bridge is used to replace a few teeth that are missing consecutively.
How bad are dentures?
Dentures work great for some people. And, while they are not bad, they are certainly not the most effective tooth replacement on the market. Options like dental implants – or dentures that are secure by dental implants – are a much more comfortable and functional solution.
Are dentures better than real teeth?
There is nothing better than real, natural teeth – including dentures. When fitted properly, dentures can be a cost-effective tooth replacement, but they are not a one-time permanent solution. Dentures can shift, lead to bone loss, impact chewing and speech, and be uncomfortable at times.
Do dental implants cost more than dentures?
Yes – initially. A full mouth of dental implants will cost more than dentures. However, dental implants are a more permanent solution for tooth replacement. Over time, dentures require regular adjustments and may even need to be replaced. Depending on a few factors, this could mean that dentures will ultimately cost more in the long run.