For people who want to replace missing teeth, Tampa dentists offer two options: dentures and dental implants. Each has good and bad points depending on what the patient wants.
Traditional Dentures Are an Economical Choice
People have been using dentures for almost 3,000 years, although today's dentures are quite different than the crude prosthetics originally made from animal teeth. The technology has come a long way and allow Tampa dentists to offer an inexpensive and quick solution to patients with missing teeth.
However dentures have always been plagued with problems. Even the most experienced Tampa dentist find it difficult to create devices that fit perfectly and the fit changes as the patient's gum tissue shrinks with age. The loose dentures not only make it difficult to eat or speak but can cause painful sores as they rub against delicate oral tissues. Although denture material is durable, the constantly changing fit requires replacement every few years.
Dental Implants Provide Better Function... for a Price
Implants are artificial teeth that are attached directly to the patient's jaw, functioning in every way like permanent, natural teeth. Patients who have had both dentures and dental implants report the implants are by far the superior choice. They both look and feel better than dentures and are a lifelong replacement for missing teeth.
The procedure is major surgery and is performed by Tampa dentists under general anesthesia. The recovery process may take as long as six months. However recent breakthroughs have allowed dentists to place implants more quickly, sometimes shaving months off the recovery time. According to The International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants, the procedure is successful 95% of the time.
Which Is Right For You?
If implants are so much better, then why do Tampa dentists still get requests for dentures? The main reason is that dental implants are quite a bit more expensive. Patients agree the cost is worth it but not everyone has the financial resources to afford them. In addition to cost, there are a few other reasons patients might choose dentures over implants.
Some people may be bothered by how invasive the surgery is or by the time it will take to complete the procedures. A complication called peri-implantitis may occur after the surgery and is more common among smokers, patients with diabetes or patients with poor oral hygiene so Tampa dentists may suggest dentures in these cases. Patients with poor bone density may not have sufficient bone mass to hold the implants, but an initial bone graft can allow those patients to opt for implants.
As with any major procedure, it is difficult to give general advice. Although most patients are capable of having dental implants, talk to your dentist about both procedures before making a decision. Tampa dentists can provide information customized to you personally so you can make the best decision.