Tooth loss is a common effect of aging, and the results can have a severe impact on your comfort, eating habits, and self-image. For years, dentures were the only viable solution to tooth loss for most of us. Fortunately, today there are several denture alternatives that can help you restore your smile and live a hassle-free life despite the loss of teeth. Cascades Center for Dental Health in Sterling, VA specializes in denture alternatives that will help to make your tooth loss a non-issue.
What Are The Alternatives To Traditional Dentures?
Traditional dentures are held in place with adhesive and must be removed and cleaned every night. Since they are not a permanent fixture in your mouth, they can make eating certain hard foods, even apples, and corn on the cob, difficult. Food particles can get stuck between the denture and the roof of your mouth, and the dentures themselves can even alter the shape of your face. Denture alternatives address all of these issues by remaining fixed in place just like your own teeth.
Overdentures differ from dental implants in that the replacement teeth are not affixed directly to an implant. Rather, an overdenture is a structure that resembles traditional dentures, holding all the teeth together in an artificial bridge. The overdenture is secured inside the mouth via an underlying implant or to the remaining natural teeth. As opposed to dental implants, which have a separate anchor for each replacement tooth, overdentures tend to be secured via two anchors in the jawbone. Because they are not held in place by adhesives, overdentures are much more comfortable than traditional dentures.
Dental implants are a big step from traditional dentures. A dental implant is typically made of titanium and fixed permanently to your jawbone, just as the teeth once were. These implants serve as a base to insert false teeth that sit in your mouth just like natural teeth do. Dental implants are durable and last for years, making them a more hassle-free answer to tooth loss.
One of the downsides to dental implants is the initial time involved. Once the implants have been installed, a patient typically has to wait three to six months for the jawbone to bond to the implant. Once this process is complete, however, the replacement teeth require little maintenance beyond your normal routine.
Which Denture Alternatives Are Right For Me?
Your dentist is the best person to help you decide which of the available denture alternatives is right for you. Dental implants have a few advantages over overdentures. Any denture, even overdentures, can wear away the underlying bone in the jaw over time. In addition, while overdentures provide more comfort than traditional dentures, they still do not look and feel as natural as dental implants.
The major disadvantage to dental implants, on the other hand, is the cost, which tends to be considerably higher than overdentures.