When it comes to restoring and enhancing your natural smile, there are a number of options available to you here at Accent Smile Center. These include popular treatments like dental implants and partial dentures, both of which are excellent ways to improve the appearance and function of your mouth. If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may be comparing dental implants and partial dentures, wondering which one is right for you. Understanding the unique benefits of each option will help you decide on the best solution for your smile! Keep reading below to learn more.
What are dental implants?
We use dental implants to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, a floppy denture, or an entire upper or lower arch. The implants are crafted from medical grade titanium alloy, since it’s naturally accepted by the body, and placed in the jaw to anchor new teeth in place.
Once the implant area has healed, a small connector called an abutment is attached to the implant to hold the new tooth. At this point, our team will use digitally scanned impressions of your teeth to create a model of your mouth (which means no more messy impression material!) The new tooth, also known as a crown, is then attached. Crowns often look as natural as your own teeth do, as the color and design shape blends in with your natural smile.
A skilled and experienced dentist like Dr. Gatgens will create a customized plan to help you chew better and smile more confidently! This plan will document all aspects of care, including the surgical and restorative implant phases. Because Dr. Gatgens has had extensive training in this procedure, you will not need to visit multiple doctors to complete the process.
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 are the option to replace only some missing teeth. Partial dentures work in essentially the same way as full dentures, but they are anchored onto the remaining teeth with clasps and customized to fit your smile.
Denture teeth may be made out of porcelain or acrylic resin. Porcelain dentures very closely resemble natural teeth, making them an easy match for any remaining teeth! This can make it easier for patients to adapt to them. However, porcelain dentures 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 usually need replacing 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 one is a better fit for you?
There are several factors to consider when comparing dental implants and partial dentures. These include comfort, appearance, cost, reliability, and the total time required to complete the procedure, to name just a few!
If your primary concern is comfort and reliability, you can’t do better than dental implants. Because they are permanently fixed in place, they’re stronger than dentures and can withstand years of use without damage or decay. You won’t need to worry about shifting, slipping, or falling out, either! A partial denture also relies on nearby teeth to keep it in place, but it can sometimes cause damage to those very teeth since they rely on those teeth 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.
What about longevity? As noted above, partial dentures can last up to 8 years with proper maintenance. That’s a pretty good stretch of time, 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. However, 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 can alter the shape of your face and jaw, making it difficult to continue wearing dentures.
Find your natural smile again with Accent Smile Center
Dentures have come a long way over the years, and today’s fittings are the best they’ve ever been. Our partial dentures can improve the appearance of your smile, help support your facial muscles, reduce the signs of aging, and allow you to eat and speak with greater comfort.
Dental implants are the closest you can get to how your natural teeth look, feel, and function. Unlike dentures, partials, or bridges, which can sometimes contribute to the bone and tissue degrading over time, implants help to keep the bone and gum tissue healthy and strong. They also boast impressive longevity and will last you a lifetime if you care for them properly!
If you have missing teeth or struggle with smiling and eating, don’t miss out for another minute! We can help restore your smile and your confidence, so get in touch today to find out more about our dental implants and partial dentures!