If you always presumed that a visit to a dentist is simply receiving a check-up and fillings, then it’s time to get a new perspective. More and more dental professionals are offering solutions for a range of oral problems and makeovers for patients looking to achieve the perfect smile.
In fact I read recently dental procedures have increased by a staggering 50% in the last five years as more Brits become concerned with their oral hygiene and appearance. As high end procedures lower in price many patients are frequently using dental implants to repair damages, rather than using more traditional treatment methods such as dentures. But what exactly are dental implants? And what makes them so different from false teeth?
The Dental Implant Procedure
While many people continue to wear dentures with comfort, implants are now considered the preferred treatment for replacing lost teeth. The procedure is also pretty straightforward. A dental surgeon places a titanium screw in the jaw bone, and prosthetic teeth are secured to the implant. It takes five to eight months to fix the prosthetic tooth onto the implant.
Dentures on the other hand take several appointments over the course of three to six weeks. In the first appointment, impressions of the jaw and tooth structure are taken. Wax or plastic moulds are then created and tried on before a final cast is made.
Comfort: Dental Implants and Dentures
Over time dentures are likely to loosen as your gums and jaw structure change with aging. This can cause the denture to move as well as cause clicking sounds when you eat or speak. The ability to chew is also greatly reduced compared with natural teeth.
Dental implants are very stable thanks to their root-like portion which fits into the bone socket. People who have implant-supported artificial teeth can chew efficiently and very rarely need the implants replaced and can last a lifetime with proper care.
When are Dental Implants Used?
Dental implants are commonly used to replace missing teeth, however they are not advisable for everyone. Diabetics and smokers are usually recommended alternative treatments as osseo-integration can take longer, while many patients are likely to have a weak jaw line needed to support them.
Dentures can be used when you have lost many or all of your teeth, and are considered a cheaper alternative for patients suffering from tooth decay, periodontal disease, ageing or tooth damage.
While I believe both are effective ways of replacing missing teeth, denture implants are providing patients with more options. The titanium in dental implants also has to advantages. Firstly it can promote healthy bone growth and secondly, this natural bone holds the implant firmly in place. The opposite happens with dentures, as pressure from the dentures can cause disintegration of bone material.
The British Association of Clinical Dental Technology (BACDT) Directory offers patients a list of qualified dental professionals and useful information regarding dental implants.