In the past, many older adults believed that losing their teeth was a natural part of aging and that they’d have to live their retirement years with dentures. However, with today’s innovative and thorough dental practices, it’s much more likely that you can keep your natural teeth for your entire life. Natural teeth benefit your health and longevity, but even if you lose some or all your teeth, dentures aren’t on the only tooth replacement option these days.
Preserving healthy smiles
When a patient loses a natural tooth due to decay, gum disease or some trauma, it’s highly likely that the teeth on either side of it may be lost too. Losing one tooth starts a chain reaction, so it’s essential that any missing teeth receive a replacement before surrounding teeth shift or jawbone loss occurs. One of the most popular tooth replacement options today are dental implants because of their versatility and the ability to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth while preserve jaw bone and facial structure.
Benefits of dental implants over dentures
Unlike dentures or fixed bridges, dental implants mimic the presence of tooth roots in the jawbone, which preserves the jaw’s mass by stimulating the bone. Without the presence of a tooth root or dental implant, the jawbone eventually shrinks and leads to other oral issues. Although dentures give the appearance of teeth, they don’t aid in preventing the bone loss like implants do, and this means that dentures won’t fit as well over time and require replacement.
Drawbacks of dentures
Over time, dentures can become loose in the mouth and move while eating or talking due to jawbone loss. The ridge the dentist designed the dentures to fit on flattens as the bone loss occurs and even though adjustments can help, as bone loss continues, the dentures will never fit right for long. Ill-fitting dentures lead many who wear them to give up foods they love and transition to a soft food diet. Denture wearers can also suffer from more gastrointestinal problems and need to take more medications than those with their natural teeth. Issues with eating and speaking properly with dentures can make people feel too embarrassed to go out and socialize, which is no way to spend the golden years.
Updated tooth replacement solution that can last a lifetime
While dentures can be a viable tooth replacement option for some, they’re an outdated solution and don’t prevent jawbone loss. Held by the jawbone just like natural teeth, dental implants restore the presence of tooth roots, halt the rate of bone loss and provide a stable foundation for teeth so patients can speak, bite, and chew just as they would with natural teeth.
To learn more about dental implants and what they can do to preserve your healthy, beautiful smile, contact Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics to set up a consultation and dental exam.