Dentures Versus Dental Implants – The Right Decision
Dental implants stimulate bone and provide a strong bite. They are an alternative to removable dentures, which cause bone loss and reduced biting forces. Dr. Alan Farber explains why dental implants are the right choice for optimal oral health.
What’s Wrong with Dentures?
Patients often come to see me with a complete denture that is removable. They complain that they lost much of their chewing force. When people have a healthy set of teeth, their chewing force is strong. They have the power to bite into any food they want to eat. However, when people replace their teeth with dentures their biting force goes down about 80% or more. This problem is present even with denture adhesives, which most people do not like.
Dental Implants – A Fantastic Alternative
Dental implants are a great alternative to conventional removable dentures. We use dental implants to replace an entire arch of teeth–whether it be an upper or lower arch—by supporting a non-removable, permanent bridge. When implant dentistry is used to replace teeth, the biting force is dramatically increased—almost to the level of having healthy natural teeth.
What’s Going on in My Mouth?
When people lose their teeth the jawbone is not stimulated and the bone starts to shrink. We call this process of jaw shrinkage “resorption.” Eventually the removable denture that sits on this jawbone will get looser and looser because there is less bone available. As the process continues, the patient starts to use more denture adhesive and eventually the resorption becomes so severe that the patient cannot wear a denture. I call these patients “denture cripples.”
Even when patients who suffer from bone resorption are able to wear dentures, they come into my office and say, “What happened to my face? It’s collapsing! Now I’m all wrinkled and I look like my face has shrunken.” This cosmetic problem is due to the loss of teeth and the ensuing loss of bone.
A Happy Ending
With a non-removable denture that is secured by dental implants, the patient has a restoration that does not come out, so there is no wear and tear from something removable putting pressure on the jaw. The patient does not feel the implants, but they are stimulating the surrounding cells. The bone cells keep remodeling and replenishing themselves and the bone is well maintained for many years.
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