Have you ever thought dentures were your last stop when it came to dental care? Well, what if we told you that isn't necessarily true?
After tooth loss, many choose dentures for different reasons, ranging from convenience to finances. But a common question many denture wearers have is, "Can I switch to dental implants?" The good news is many patients can, but it helps to know a few things before you take the leap.
Details About Dentures
For ages, dentures have been the go-to solution for missing teeth. They're affordable, simple to use, and can look just like the real thing. Dentures can be full or partial, replacing some or all of your teeth. But, of course, they have their downsides, too.
Many denture wearers can relate to struggles with comfort, keeping them stable, and sometimes, even talking clearly. Plus, dentures can't stop the thinning of the jawbone that naturally happens when teeth are missing.
Why Dental Implants?
Enter modern dental implants. Implants are extremely strong, small metal screws that are implanted directly into your jawbone. They act like the root of a tooth and hold false teeth in place. Like traditional dentures, implants can replace all of your teeth or just some of them.
Here's why implants are a great option for many people:
- They're comfortable and steady.
- They stimulate the jawbone, keeping it strong.
- They make talking and chewing easier.
- They look and feel just like real teeth.
As with just about anything, dental implants do also have cons. Implants involve a higher up-front cost when compared with traditional dentures. Conversely, implants tend to last much longer than dentures, so over a lifetime, the cost can even out.
The procedure for getting dental implants may take a bit longer. Implants must be placed, and the site must heal before permanent crows or dentures are installed. Again, this process is typically done once, with no need to repeat the fabrication and fitting process in the future, which may occur with traditional dentures.
Switching from Dentures to Dental Implants: Can I Do It?
Starting with dentures doesn't mean you can never switch to dental implants. But it may not be a guarantee. Several factors may come into play when determining whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. Here are some things to think about:
- Bone Thickness: Implants need a strong jawbone to hold on to. If you've worn dentures for a while, your jawbone might have become degraded, and you may need an extra procedure (called bone grafting) to strengthen it.
- Oral Health: Healthy gums are extremely important for successful implants. Make sure any gum problems are taken care of before getting implants.
- Overall Health: Implants require you to be healthy overall. If you have health conditions like diabetes or heart disease, it doesn't mean you can't get implants, but it does mean you'll need to talk with your dentist about the best plan for you.
It's Your Call
Now you know it's possible to switch from dentures to dental implants, but should you? Choosing between dentures and dental implants is a personal choice. If dentures aren't comfortable or you're worried about your thinning jawbone, implants might be a great choice. But if you're happy with your dentures, it's okay to stick with them. The decision is all yours.
Are you thinking about switching from dentures to dental implants? Don't go it alone. Talk to us about your options and take the first step towards a more comfortable, brighter smile.