Having one or more missing teeth is a common problem, especially among adults, but whilst having a missing tooth can cause embarrassment and sometimes discomfort, there are various ways to improve the appearance of your smile.
One such option is to wear dentures, but with recent advances in technology, people can now choose to have replacement teeth implanted into their jawbone.
Dentures are false teeth that are usually secured with denture adhesive. Your dentist will take a mould of your mouth and jawline and this is then sent away to a specialist who will create your dentures. Once the final cast is fitted, minor adjustments can be made to ensure that it is comfortable and matches your individual bite.
With recent improvements to the quality and appearance of dentures, this cost-effective way of replacing teeth is a popular option. It is also a good choice for people whose jaws are either too weak or too unhealthy to support implants.
The main downside to wearing dentures is the fact that they can slip out of place if not secured with adhesive properly, which can not only cause embarrassment but can also be very uncomfortable. Another negative aspect of wearing dentures is that with age, the jawline can change, resulting in dentures having to be adjusted and realigned to the shape of the wearer’s mouth.
Dental implants are replacement teeth that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. After administering a local anaesthetic, your dentist will expose the jawbone, drill a hole and insert a metal post. Your gum will be stitched over the metal post and it will be left to heal whilst the bone grows around the metal post to make it secure. Another operation will then be required to fit the replacement teeth onto the metal post.
Although local anaesthetic reduces pain considerably, this kind of procedure requires invasive surgery which may put some people off. Other downsides to having dental implants are cost and time. As the procedure is far more complicated than having traditional dentures fitted, it is far more expensive and can take much longer to complete.
However, due to the metal post that is implanted into the jawbone, this kind of replacement tooth is far more secure than dentures as the metal post acts as a natural root for the tooth. Implants also look and feel like ordinary teeth, making you feel comfortable and much less self-conscious.