120 million people in the country have at least one tooth missing and around 35 million Americans suffer from tooth loss. These are staggering statistics that show just how prevalent tooth loss is in the United States.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Missing teeth don’t just affect your appearance. They also have an impact on your mental and physical health. People with missing teeth suffer from self-esteem issues and may even experience social anxiety. They live in constant fear of being ridiculed for their appearance and lack of teeth.
In addition to that, missing teeth make it harder for you to chew food. They also affect your facial structure. Your teeth help position the jawbone in place. Without teeth, there’s nothing to stimulate the bone. As a result, your body reabsorbs the bone. This gives your face a sunken appearance.
The good news is that you don’t have to live your whole life with missing teeth. There are many tooth replacement options that you can opt for. These include dentures and implants. Let’s find out which ones are a better option:
Dental implants are posts or frames that are surgically attached to the jawbone right beneath the gums. The implants are directly fused to the jawbone and offer support to artificial teeth.
Since implants are fused to the bone, you don’t have to worry about them slipping or moving out of position while you’re eating or drinking. In fact, dental implants almost feel similar to natural teeth.
An advantage of dental implants is that you don’t need to get your teeth prepared or grounded in order to make place for replacement teeth.
However, in order to get dental implants, you do need to have healthy gums and adequate bones since implants cannot be placed in without their support.
You also need to take good care of your oral hygiene and make sure you visit your dentist for routine checkups.
Unlike implants, dentures are removable, fill out the appearance of your face and help restore your smile.
Dentists first remove all remaining teeth in your mouth before they can place dentures. They will also wait and give the gums and tissues time to heal before placing in the denture. This process can take up to a few months.
If you don’t want to wait for months, you can opt for immediate dentures too. These are placed in your mouth on the same day that your remaining teeth are removed. The dentists will take all the measurements and create a model of your jaw during the preliminary visits.
Some people don’t like the idea of getting their remaining teeth removed. These people can opt for overdentures, a denture that fits on the remaining teeth.
Dental implants are much more expensive than dentures. They both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages but implants feel and look more natural, are a long-term solution and are thus considered a much better option.