In case you haven’t heard, smiling is great for your health.
According to Psychology Today, smiling makes you look younger and thinner, elevates your mood, promotes a sense of well-being, and can even predict your lifespan. (Spoiler alert: people who smile tend to live longer.)
And a good smile starts with your teeth.
Unfortunately, despite advancements in dental care, WebMD reports that millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss due to decay, disease, or injury.
The good news is that several options are available for those who yearn for that dream smile, even without their natural teeth. But before you opt for the seemingly cheapest and most convenient option, it’s important to know the facts.
Here’s what you need to understand about dentures and implants when you’re considering which one is right for you.
For several decades, the go-to method of replacing missing teeth was dentures, but that trend has started to shift. Dr. Bryan Hendriks of Dream Dental explained why dentures are not necessarily the best option available.
“A denture completely blocks the inside of the roof of the mouth,” Hendriks said. “The biggest problem with that is that you’re not going to be able to taste the food that you want.”
Aside from blocking some of your tastebuds, dentures also fall out easily, are less comfortable, and are expensive to maintain.
“To keep the denture fitting well, you have to reline it often — meaning that you have to add material into it,” Hendriks said. “The second you take your teeth out, you start to lose bone.”
Dentures can be a good option for people who have lost all of their teeth and don’t have the finances to afford implants. Simply put, they’re better than nothing.
But since dentures can make a person’s profile look drastically different, Hendriks advises against them if your only goal is a better-looking smile.
“Don’t let a doctor convince you that a denture is the best option unless you truly have exhausted every resource possible,” he said.
Overdentures (known as ‘snap-in dentures’)
One step up from dentures is overdentures, which are also known as “snap-in dentures.” These differ from traditional dentures in that they have at least two or four implants to connect them. This allows the denture to snap in like buttons on a shirt.
Because these dentures snap-in, this will keep them in while you’re talking.
As you start to chew and eat, the denture will dislodge and the rings underneath can move or wear down. This leads to higher costs for cleaning and relining.
“Well over 60% of my patients have upgraded to a different device because of these maintenance costs,” Hendriks said.
Overall, overdentures are better than regular dentures, but if you’re going to spend the money, there are better options available.
All-on-4® dental implants
An All-on-4® dental implant bridge is a screw-retained device, supported on as few as four dental implants, and permanently replaces an entire arch of teeth. It is the most functional choice and performs like your natural teeth.
These implants come in two options: titanium or zirconia. The titanium implant has acrylic around the titanium bar with denture teeth on top, but the zirconia device is one piece.
If beauty is your main concern, rest assured that both options are stunning. And because the zirconia implants are highly customizable, you can achieve that picture-perfect Hollywood gleam, if that’s your goal. The device is designed on a computer, meaning you can choose exactly the size, shape, or shade you want.
The titanium device is built from the same material used to make space shuttles, but the zirconia is made of the strongest material known in dentistry.
“It can take so much more pressure and strength, we don’t have to worry about a tooth breaking off or a tooth wearing down,” Hendriks said.
The ceramic surface of the zirconia device is also the most hygienic option of all dental implants.
According to Hendriks, the biggest problem with combining a titanium bar with the acrylic and denture teeth is that patients who bite down the wrong way often have problems with teeth popping off. Over time, the teeth on the titanium implant will wear down. Because acrylic absorbs saliva, this also makes the titanium implant harder to clean.
The only con for the zirconia? The price. Because the custom implant takes much longer to create, this makes them the most expensive option.
However, the lower maintenance could end up balancing the budget when all is said and done.
“At the end of the day, the cost you would pay in maintenance with the titanium, you will make that difference up in the zirconia,” Hendriks said.
Get your dream smile
Each one of the options listed above works for certain people. To know what’s best for you, it’s important to get a professional opinion.
As you find yourself searching for the right dental provider, it can be challenging to know where to go. At Dream Dental, you’ll receive the best patient care available at the hands of highly-experienced dental implant experts.
With a virtually painless procedure, state-of-the-art equipment, and a convenient downtown location, Dream Dental has everything you need to achieve your dream smile. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call 801-682-4519.
This was an article featured on KSL.com! https://www.ksl.com/article/46703710/know-all-of-your-options-before-settling-for-dentures