Losing your teeth is a perfectly normal occurrence. The reality is, tooth loss is common and the older you get, the more likely it is to occur. The older we get, the more likely this is to occur. However, losing your teeth may still weigh heavily on your mind and damage your confidence.
Fortunately, there are several options when it comes to restoring your smile with cosmetic dentistry.
Dentures are a removable set of artificial teeth that fulfill the role of natural teeth. Dentures are ideal for anyone who has lost all or some of their teeth. Complete dentures are for those who are missing all of their teeth.
Complete dentures are either created to be permanent or temporary — fitted after your teeth have been removed and your gums have healed. The gum healing process typically takes about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.
Immediate dentures are made in advance of the teeth removal and can be applied as soon as your teeth are removed. This type of denture is often a popular choice because many patients don’t want to go without functioning teeth while they heal.
While these dentures are convenient, there are some drawbacks. Gums shrink over time, especially during the healing process. Immediate dentures should be considered a temporary solution before permanent ones are made.
Partial dentures are used when not all teeth are in need of removal. Partial dentures are made of a plastic base and are often supported by a dental implant. A fixed bridge replaces one or more of your missing teeth. Dental bridges are not cemented in place.
Drawbacks of Dentures
There are some drawbacks to dentures that you should be aware of. While they are a great solution to missing teeth, they often lead to gum issues. Once your teeth are removed, your gums will naturally start to recede and without an implant or a gum graft down the line, there is no way to reverse this.
It can also be difficult to get your denture to hold in place while in use. Loose or ill-fitting dentures can lead to irritation, abrasion, and infection.
Dental implants are another extremely popular choice when replacing missing teeth because of their realistic appearance and high level of functionality. Dental implants work quite differently than dentures — once the tooth is removed, a metal rod will be implanted into the gums and jaw bone.
The exposed end of the metal rod will be threaded so that an artificial tooth or custom made crown may be fitted. One of the most appealing benefits of a dental implant is that your crown is colored to match the natural hue of your surrounding teeth.
Dental implants are often favored over dentures because of their practicality. Dentures require quite a bit more upkeep and maintenance than implants. It’s suggested that you thoroughly clean your dentures after every meal and that they are soaked in a cleaning solution every night.
In contrast, implants require little more maintenance than your natural teeth. Upkeep is consistent with regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash practices.
The cost of your replacement is based on an incredibly wide variety of factors. Generally speaking, dentures tend to be cheaper than implants. Of course, this is a result of their contrasting effectiveness.
If you’re worried about the cost of whichever solution you land on, most insurance plans cover some or most of your cosmetic dental procedures. A good dentist will work with you and your insurance carrier to find the best financial solution possible.
If you don’t have insurance, there are medical loans, typically in the form of a credit card such as CareCredit or LendingClub, that you can take out to pay for your treatment.
What’s the Best Option?
To answer this question, you will inevitably need to consult a dentist. Everyone’s dental issues are different and what might work for some, may not work for others. During the consultation for your tooth loss or teeth removal, your dentist will discuss your options.
Whether you’re leaning towards the option they present or not, you should inquire about alternatives and ask why they don’t think they would be best.