A persons smile is the first thing most people notice when meeting someone for the first time. It is generally the most expressive feature you have. When your smile looks healthy and bright, it gives you a boost in confidence that shows in the way you carry yourself. When you lose a tooth be it from an accident or tooth decay or some other oral condition, it can severely hamper your smile and self-image.
Losing A Tooth Doesn’t Have To Ruin Your Smile
Granted, losing a tooth does come with some effects that are not pleasant and can be more than just an inconvenience. But it doesn’t mean the end of your smile as you know it. There are options available from any qualified Houston dentist to help minimize the damage a missing tooth can cause such as:
- Difficulty Chewing– When you lose a tooth it changes the way your remaining teeth interact and the mechanics of how you chew food. Teeth can often shift out of alignment due to the missing adjacent teeth not being present for support. Once shifting occurs the teeth often become crooked, create a gap or even get so misaligned that they shift behind or in front of one another. This shifting causes a structural change in your jaw and cheeks which can affect your bite as well as be quite painful. Food can also get trapped between shifted teeth and cause serious dental hygiene issues as well as bad breath.
- Bone Loss– When a tooth is lost, the area in the jawbone it was once anchored to,gets no more stimulation which instigates bone atrophy and eventually loss. The boneloss not only changes the shape of your jaw but also makes any corrective procedure such as dental implants nearly impossible or very difficult.
- Decreased Quality Of Life– Because tooth loss affects chewing, it can also end up altering your diet and remove foods you have trouble chewing. Many of these foods may have vital nutrients that in order to be absorbed, must be digested properly. Not being able to consume or chew these foods properly can cause deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and nutrients you would normally get from the foods you eat if not for tooth loss.
As any Houston dentist will tell you, losing a tooth is only the end of your smile if you choose to do nothing about it. Typically, there are two options when taking corrective action for a lost tooth—dentures or dental implants.
Many people missing several teeth will automatically assume dentures is the best choice due to their lower initial cost vs. dental implants—but are you really saving money with dentures?
While dental implants are more expensive initially, you might be surprised to know that overall, dentures may end up costing the same as dental implants in the long run. The decision is something you should make with complete knowledge of each solution, and Antoine Dental is here to give you the details on each.
The Details On Dentures
Dentures are a medical grade, removable prosthetic specially developed for oral use to replace missing teeth and some part of the gums as well. Dentures can come in complete arches both upper and lower or in partials that just fill the gap for several missing teeth. Complete dentures adhere directly to the gums with special adhesive and partials are held in place by clips that are affixed to the teeth on either side of the device. Whether partial or complete, all dentures have a base that is tissue colored and made out of acrylic, that supports the dentures and some even include framed for more support.
Why A Patient Might Choose Dentures:
- Dentures have a lower initial than dental implants.
- Dentures are an option for patients with significant bone loss or gum erosion which makes implants impossible or very difficult.
- Fitment and installation of dentures donot require a surgical procedure.
- Dentures are usually completed in about four visits.
Why Dentures Might Not Be A Good Fit For You:
- Don’t like change? Dentures often need adjustment and even replacement if your face and gums change as you age. This also adds to the overall expense of dentures.
- Dentures can alter your speech, give you difficulty when eating and swallowing, cause involuntary salivation, and slippage while you adjust to them. Some patients never adjust and end up seeking alternatives.
- Dentures need regular dental care just like regular teeth or you run the risk of oral infection from dirty dentures.
What You Should Know About Dental Implants
Unlike dentures,dental implants are a permanent solution and are surgically installed into your jawbone. Implants are custom created from a mold of your mouth with materials that look, feel and function just like natural teeth—except they don’t decay.
Since dental implants are implanted into the jawbone, they help maintain bone density, the shape of your face, and normal chewing and speech. Dental implants should be cared for just like regular teeth as even though they can’t decay—they can still stain and get particles trapped which can lead to infection if not cleaned.
Since dental implants are a permanent solution they do require surgery to implant a titanium anchor into your jawbone, either single or multiple, depending on how many teeth are missing. This is a highly sensitive procedure, so you want to make sure it is done by a prosthodontist, notjust a general dentist.
At Antoine Dental, for patients who need full dental replacements, we offer the revolutionary All-On-Four Teeth-In-A-Day procedure that can fully reconstruct your mouth. This procedure only requires four implants and can be accomplished in one day in most cases.
Why A Patient Might Choose Dental Implants:
- A high percentage success rate of over 95%.
- Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care, so it is a one-time investment.
- Caring for implants is just as simple as caring for natural teeth.
- Facial structure and bone strength arepreserved.
- When you get the All-On-Four dental implants at Antoine Dental, you’re done in one day with one follow up visit—that’s it!
Why Dental Implants Might Not Be A Good Fit For You:
- Dental Implants do have a higher initial investment than dentures, but overall when you factor in maintenance and replacements for dentures—dental implants can end up costing the same or a bit less given their lifespan and zero maintenance.
- If you have lost bone composition and significant gum tissue, the implant may not be able to be anchored securely—although bone grafts and skin grafts might be a possible fix, it would significantly increase the cost. Typically, patients with severe bone and tissue loss are recommended for dentures instead.
Which Should You Go With?
Now that you have all the information, it is best you come into Antoine Dental to have your mouth evaluated to narrow down your options. If it is viable for you, dental implants are the more sensible solution given their added health benefits and long lifespan. They may cost more upfront, but in the long run, since they last a lifetime—they may end up costing you the same over the years versus replacing dentures every 3-5 years.
The bottom line is, dentures really don’t save you money, they just spread the cost out over the years. If you qualify for dental implants, you can do the same thing with smart financing options, so there’s no reason to not go with dental implants.
Ready To Get Your Smile Makeover?
Do you have missing teeth and have felt like there’s just nothing you can do to fix it? Cometo see us at Antoine Dental. We have the experts onsite who can evaluate your situation, get you fitted for our revolutionary All-On-Four Teeth-In-A-Day dental implants and get that smile makeover you’ve been wanting. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!