The Specialist

Dental implants: A life-changing option for denture wearers

Dental implants are a permanent, healthy, and natural-looking alternative to dentures.

In many cases, patients are given a partial or full denture to replace missing teeth because that is all they were offered. The fact is, partials and full dentures are traditional, yet not the ideal choice. Today, there are several alternatives to removable dentures available to provide more health benefits and long-term solutions for missing teeth.

Dental implants can add significant value to patients who thought the best option they can receive is dentures. We can do better!

Dentures are removable devices made to replace missing teeth. They are usually made of acrylic or a combination of acrylic and metal. The dentist will take an impression then send that information to a dental lab. The lab will then construct the partial or full denture based on the dentist’s prescription. The most common problems with dentures are they never quite fit snugly. They often slide, shift and bruise the underlying gums. Many patients never get comfortable with dentures and often complain that they are loose. There is also a psychological or emotional adjustment to wearing removable oral devices.

With upper full dentures, the palate is usually covered and denture adhesives are required to aid in retention. Many of your taste buds are covered in full dentures and many patients complain of soreness and bruising of gum tissue when dentures don’t fit so well. Also, because dentures cause bone volume loss due to the unnatural pressures, the dentures need to be relined and sometimes remade.

With lower dentures, since no palate exists, retention is even more difficult. Patients complain of lifting up and tipping when they bite on one side or the other. Denture adhesives are also commonly used in lower full dentures.

Many people throughout the world have advanced their health and wellness with dental implants. An estimated three million people have dental implants, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Patients who are missing one tooth, several teeth, or all of their teeth can enjoy implants as their preferred tooth replacement option.

Why replace your missing teeth? Without all of your teeth, your oral health and appearance will suffer. Cosmetically, missing teeth can make your mouth look sunken and you prematurely age. Your jaw bone will begin to deteriorate wherever teeth are missing. This will weaken the roots of any remaining teeth. Also, missing teeth can make eating and talking both difficult, painful and embarrassing.

The following are some advantages of dental implants:

• They are versatile in that they can replace a single tooth or many teeth at once.

• Dental implants preserve bone. The implant post acts like a tooth root, which stimulates bone growth to prevent bone loss in the jaw.

• Natural looking. The crown is made especially for you to blend in with your smile.

• Most patients are good candidates, even elderly patients and those who were denied other tooth replacement options in the past.

• They last a long time. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are fixed in place.

• You can eat the foods you love without embarrassment, pain or worry about their dentures slipping out.

• You enjoy improved speech for clear and confident speaking.

• Success rates for implants are easily up to 98 percent.

• Implants are cared for like natural teeth and can last a lifetime with proper care.

The goal of modern dentistry is to restore the patient to normal function, comfort, esthetics, speech and good health. Replacing missing teeth is a critical step in achieving a healthy smile. What makes implant dentistry unique? It is the best option to achieve this goal – regardless of age, bone loss, disease or injury to your oral cavity.

 
• Dr. Kendal V.O. Major is the founder and CEO of the Center for Specialized Dentistry, which is a comprehensive family dental practice operating in New Providence and Grand Bahama. He is the first Bahamian specialist in gum diseases and dental implants since 1989. He is also a certified fast braces provider. His practice is located at 89 Collins Avenue, New Providence. He can be contacted at (242) 325-5165 or kmajorcsd@gmail.com.

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