Individuals who have lost several or most of their teeth may be good candidates for dentures. These dental devices are used to replace missing teeth and surrounding tissue. As needs for dentures are varied, there are two types normally used – complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all teeth are being replaced and can be for upper jaw, lower jaw, or both. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth are still present.
Overall, dentures are a cosmetic procedure used to treat specific dental problems. However they are also a way for patients with missing teeth to maintain their ability to enjoy the foods they love to eat without involving dental surgery. Wearing dentures allows you to feel good about your smile even if you have missing teeth, and also enables you to speak more clearly than if you did not replace teeth lost to decay or trauma.
While dentures and partials are one way to replace the structure of missing teeth, dental implants have emerged on the scene as technologies have advanced. Implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth, whereas dentures are a removable device. Most people are well aware of the issues denture wearers face; lack of adherence, slipping or discomfort are just a few. With a tooth implant, one does not face these issues, as an implant is inserted directly into the jaw bone.
In our North Carolina offices, we see many patients who are ideal candidates for dental implants. While this dental surgery is advised on a case by case basis, there are general conditions your dentist will look for during a consultation for the implant device. To be a good candidate for implants, a patient needs to have enough bone to hold the implant firmly. Healthy gum tissue is also a necessity. The ideal candidate will be committed to regular dental visits, cleanings and good oral hygiene. It is important to discuss your overall health with your dentist, as individuals with uncontrolled disorders such as heart disease or diabetes, or those who have undergone radiation treatments to the head and neck area will need extra evaluation.
When compared to dentures, implants do prove to be a viable treatment option. At this time, they are not covered under insurance; however, our South Carolina and North Carolina offices work with patients to achieve the right payment plan. If you are making the decision between using dentures and implants, schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss the specifics of each treatment.