Gilbert patient asks, “Should I choose dentures or a dental implant?”
When teeth are missing, patients have several choices to replace them. Gilbert area residents may wonder which option is better – dentures or dental implants. It is best to start by finding out about each procedure.
Dentures are removable restorations made of acrylic resin designed to replace natural teeth. If they are partial dentures, they may have metal attachments to secure the denture in the mouth. They are not noticeable, as they are created to match the existing teeth, and can even improve a patient’s appearance. Two types of full dentures are available – immediate and conventional. Conventional dentures are placed eight to twelve weeks after the teeth have been removed, allowing for the changing of the gums as they heal. Dr. Fritz likes to give the patient an immediate set of dentures, made ahead of time and placed as soon as the teeth are removed. This allows the patient to get used to the feel of the dentures, and find and address any problems while the permanent set is constructed. The fit of the immediate dentures can change often and can require several adjustments. A good permanent appliance should not need adhesive, but your dentist will let you know what kind to use if needed.
Implants are replacements for the roots of the teeth and they provide a firm foundation for restorations made to match the natural teeth. Oral surgery is performed, implanting a small post made of titanium into the socket of the missing tooth. As the jaw heals, the bone heals around the implant, securing it firmly in the mouth. The healing process takes approximately six to twelve weeks. After healing, a connector called an abutment is attached to the post. A crown is then attached to the abutment. Implants feel, look, and function like natural teeth.
A third option that many dentists employ is the use of strategically placed implants to secure and stabilize dentures. This has been found to reduce bone deterioration that can be caused by the absence of the bite pressures that normally transfer to the jawbone and stimulate bone regeneration.
Which option is better, dentures or implants? Gilbert residents should ask Dr. Fritz which option is right for them.