According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 70% of U.S. adults aged 35 to 44 are missing at least one tooth due to decay, gum disease, or dental fractures. Missing teeth is no way to go through life. Not only can your self-esteem take a hit, but missing teeth can cause you to look years older. If you have lost one or more teeth, you are a viable candidate for either dentures or dental implants. Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry offers both teeth restoring options here in our Suffolk County, Long Island office. But which is right for you?
If affordability is your concern, dentures are the primary means for improving your smile. Comprised of artificial teeth set into a gum-colored acrylic base, dentures are removable appliances that can be used to replace single teeth or a mouth full of teeth and some of your gum tissue.
Complete dentures, also known as full dentures, can replace teeth in the upper, lower or both jaws. They are designed to rest directly on your gums using a combination of natural suction and an adhesive to keep them in place.
While many patients choose dentures due to the low cost, the appliances are not without their drawbacks. Since complete dentures aren’t fixed, they can slip at inopportune times, like when you are laughing or eating. They will also need to be removed to be cleaned.
Partial dentures (bridges) are designed for patients who still have some remaining teeth. The appliance is fixed, which means that it will anchor to your existing teeth. The acrylic is then matched to your gum tissue. The bridge is comprised of nylon, which feels comfortable in the mouth, and as far as anyone else is concerned, you never lost your natural teeth at all.
Fixed bridges are costlier and more stable than removable dentures, and require your anchoring teeth to be shaved down, which can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay. Both types of dentures may also need to be replaced every five to ten years.
The positives of dentures include improved self-esteem, more attractive facial contours and the ability to smile and eat with ease. There is also no surgery required, allowing for a less invasive procedure. This makes dentures the best option for some.
While dentures can be made to resemble your natural teeth, and the acrylic base to resemble the natural shade of your gum tissue, nothing compares to the realism of a dental implant.
A dental implant is comprised of a titanium post that is inserted into your jawbone. Titanium is used because it is bioavailable, which means that your body is unlikely to reject the substance as foreign. The implant is designed to replicate a natural tooth root. Once implanted, the post will osseointegrate or bond with your jawbone, which creates an anchor for the replacement tooth. New teeth made of porcelain will then be attached to the implant by an apparatus called an abutment.
Single tooth implants are the most realistic option we currently have for replacing individual teeth. The effects are permanent and offer you more freedom than traditional or even fixed dentures. They can be used to replace missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw, and they can trick the jawbone into thinking that you still have teeth, preventing bone loss.
Instead of opting for a dental bridge, gaps in your smile can be fixed with multiple dental implants. These permanent tooth replacements feel like your natural teeth and won’t need to be replaced every five to seven years. They also help to protect your jaw bone from deteriorating.
All on Four® (and All on Six®) is a revolutionary new procedure that affords you the opportunity to receive a new set of teeth that are identical to your natural teeth. The process consists of a customized dental bridge attached by four or six angled implant posts. The angular design prevents damage to the sinus cavity and nerve canal and provides full support for the bridge, even in cases of diminished bone volume. This is a viable alternative if fixed prosthetic teeth are not an option without a bone graft being performed first. These implants can be placed in a single day in our Long Island office.
For patients with severe bone loss and who complain that their complete dentures move around, mini implants will create a retaining fixture for the dentures to grip. The process can be completed in as little as a single hour and is relatively painless.
The drawbacks to implants include the higher cost and associated surgery. You must also be in prime physical condition and have an adequate amount of bone tissue to support the implant posts.
However, with a 90%+ success rate and the fact that insurers may reimburse up to 10% or $1500 toward dental implants, this tooth-restoring option is ideal for many Long Island patients.
If cost is a contributing factor, dentures might be the right choice for you when replacing your missing teeth. If you are looking for long-lasting results and ultra-realism, dental implants will be more to your liking.
Both teeth restoration options are ideal for replenishing your smile and boosting your self-esteem and psychological well-being.
With advancements in dentistry and the fact that we do all procedures in-house, including dental implant surgery, we can keep your costs low while replacing your teeth in true style.
Only a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick can determine if you are a good candidate for dentures or dental implants. Schedule an appointment today by calling 631.296.0588 and learn more about your teeth replacement options.
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