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With the many innovations in the field of restorative dentistry that have been made over the years, individuals with missing teeth have a vast range of options to restore their dental health and function while enhancing the appearance of their smiles. Dental implants and traditional dentures are two of the most popular treatments for missing teeth, and both have particular advantages that can make them ideal options depending on the unique concerns and goals of each patient.

Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits and differences of these treatments to find out why one option may be more suitable than the other based on individual needs:

Dental Implants

Dental implants offer patients the ability to replace missing teeth with results that are closer to the form, function, and appearance of natural teeth than virtually any other teeth replacement option. Composed of a titanium post designed to fuse to the jawbone in the area of the missing tooth, a dental implant can replicate the function of a natural tooth right down to the root. Dental implants do not require dental adhesives to remain stable and secure in the mouth, and they can be cleaned and maintained by utilizing normal oral hygiene routines. Additionally, dental implants can help prevent significant jawbone loss and actually improve dental health. With all of this in mind, it is important to know that not all patients are candidates for dental implants. Individuals who lack sufficient jawbone density to accommodate dental implants in the areas of missing teeth may need to explore alternative options. Plus, those who are missing all or nearly all of their teeth on the upper and/or lower dental arch may prefer an implant-supported denture or a traditional full or partial denture for teeth replacement rather than replacing each missing tooth with a dental implant.

Dentures

Before dental implants became available, traditional dentures were typically the standard treatment for the replacement of all or nearly all teeth on the upper or lower dental arches. Dentures have also undergone numerous advancements over the years, and they still offer remarkably effective options for teeth replacement. A full (complete) denture is a customized dental prosthesis consisting of artificial, natural-looking teeth that replace an entire row of missing teeth. This is a removable oral appliance that is made to fit comfortably in the patient’s mouth. A complete denture can be held in place for maximum stability with a strong denture adhesive, or some patients may be candidates for options such as root-retained dentures or implant-supported dentures, which can enhance the denture’s ability to remain securely in place without heavy reliance on adhesives. Individuals who are missing several teeth in the same location, but not all teeth on a particular dental arch, may also be good candidates for a partial denture rather than a complete denture. Ultimately, dentures offer patients an alternative to dental implants if they are not ideal candidates for that treatment, or if they simply prefer another type of treatment for missing teeth.

If you have missing teeth and are unsure about which treatment is best for your needs and goals, please contact Delmarva Dental Services to schedule a consultation. Our dentist will perform an oral examination and talk with you about your concerns to determine the most ideal solution.