Thanks to advances in dentistry over the last several years, there are more options than ever for restoring and enhancing your smile! Here at Cashmere Family Dentistry, that includes a number of highly effective treatments, including dental implants and partial dentures. If you’re missing one or more teeth, these can both be excellent solutions for improving the appearance and function of your mouth. Dental implants vs. partial dentures, what’s best for you? To learn more about the unique benefits of each and how they can help transform your smile, keep reading below!
What are dental implants?
Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, a floppy denture, or an entire upper or lower arch. The first step in the process is a referral to a trusted oral surgeon who will place your implant. The implant itself is a small rod crafted from medical-grade titanium alloy, a material that is naturally accepted by the body. It will be placed directly into the empty socket of the absent tooth or teeth.
As this area heals, the jawbone and gum tissue will fuse with the implant, forming an artificial root. When your mouth is fully healed, you’ll return to complete the process. This final step is known as implant restoration. To conclude your smile transformation, Dr. Busk will attach a realistic-looking dental crown or a sturdy fixed bridge, depending on your individual needs. This will give you a fully functional smile with implants that look and feel just like your natural teeth!
What are partial dentures?
There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. When all the teeth are missing, full dentures are used. If only some teeth are missing, partial dentures can be used. These work in essentially the same way as full dentures, but they are anchored onto the remaining teeth with clasps and customized to fit your natural smile.
Denture teeth may be made out of porcelain or acrylic resin. Porcelain dentures closely resemble natural enamel, so it’s easy to match them to any remaining teeth, making it easier for patients to adapt to them. However, they are more prone to breakage and may wear down any remaining teeth. For this reason, they tend to work better as a full denture rather than a partial denture.
Dentures made of acrylic resin are often able to adhere more securely to a denture base. They also make it easier to adjust to the position of the teeth when the jaw is closed, are very light, and can be less expensive than porcelain. They do wear down faster than porcelain, though, and will usually need to be replaced every 5-8 years or so. They may also change the way the teeth make contact with each other.
Dental implants vs. partial denture: which is the best option for your smile?
When comparing dental implants and partial dentures, there are several factors to consider, including comfort, appearance, cost, and reliability.
If your primary concern is comfort and reliability, dental implants are at the top of the list. Since they’re permanently fixed in place, they’re stronger than dentures and can withstand years of use without damage or decay. That means you’ll never need to worry about them shifting, slipping, or falling out. A partial denture also relies on nearby teeth to keep it in place, but it can sometimes cause damage to those same teeth since they depend on them to achieve stability from clasping onto them. If the teeth decay, fall out, or need to be removed, the partial denture will no longer work as designed.
As far as longevity goes, partial dentures can last up to 8 years with proper maintenance. That’s a pretty impressive length of time, for sure, but dental implants can last a lifetime if you take good care of them! The materials they’re made of won’t decay, and they’re practically impervious to the harmful bacteria that cause cavities. It’s important to note that any crowns you have can be damaged or chipped, just like a natural tooth.
Partial dentures tend to be a more affordable treatment option than dental implants, but they don’t solve the problem of long-term jawbone deterioration. Once your body becomes aware of a missing tooth, it will begin absorbing minerals in your jaw to use elsewhere. The area of the jaw where the tooth root used to be will weaken and deteriorate, and the adjacent teeth will start to tilt toward the open space. Over time, this may alter the shape of your face and jaw, making it difficult to continue wearing dentures.
Give your smile a makeover with Cashmere Family Dentistry
Dentures have seen some incredible improvements over the years. In fact, today’s fittings are better than they’ve ever been! Partial dentures come with a long list of benefits, including an improved appearance, greater support of the facial muscles, and reduced signs of aging. You’ll even be able to eat and speak with greater comfort!
Dental implants are the closest you can get to how your natural teeth look, feel, and function. While dentures, partials, and bridges can sometimes contribute to the bone and tissue degrading over time, implants help keep the bone and gum tissue healthy and strong. They also have impressive longevity! When properly cared for, they will last you a lifetime.
If you have missing teeth, you don’t need to struggle with smiling or eating when such effective solutions are available! The expert team here at Cashmere Family Dentistry can help enhance your smile and restore your confidence with dental implants or partial dentures, so get in touch today to find out more.