Three million Australians are missing a third of their teeth!
The Australian Dental Association reports 16 per cent of the adult population have only a handful of teeth left to smile with.
Your situation may not be quite that bad— perhaps you’ve only lost one tooth.
But even one missing tooth can harm the health of underlying bone or other teeth — and it can certainly put a significant hole in an otherwise stunning smile.
Depending on other factors, you might be a candidate for a dental implant to replace that missing tooth! But of course, there are other options available, primarily different kinds of dentures and bridges.
So if you are missing a tooth or teeth, you may be wondering which choice is best for you. At Warner Lakes Dental, we believe that in many cases an implant is the best choice, and we’re here to explain why!
What is a Dental Implant?
An implant is an artificial tooth root shaped like a post and generally made of titanium. This ‘root’ is surgically placed, and some time after surgery (after a process called ‘osseointegration’ finishes) an artificial tooth is fixed atop the post.
As they are more stable and feel more natural, Warner Lakes Dental recommends permanent implants when possible.
What are the alternatives?
Tooth-supported fixed bridge. A common alternative to dental implants for one missing tooth, fixed bridges require grinding the surfaces of healthy adjacent teeth that are used to attach and support the bridge.
The bridge does not stimulate bone growth beneath it so the bone may erode over time. Bridges also commonly fail after 5-10 years.
Removable partial dentures. Although these don’t require damaging adjacent teeth, they are not as comfortable or stable as implants. They can also negatively affect speech and eating.
Removable partial dentures are less expensive than implants but don’t look as natural or function as well as an implant-supported crown. As with bridges, the bone beneath a removable partial denture may deteriorate.
Resin-bonded bridge. This bridge has ‘wings’ on each side that attach to healthy, adjacent teeth. A resin-bonded bridge looks and works better than removable dentures but isn’t as durable or permanent as fixed bridgework.
Resin-bonded bridges don’t normally work or last as long as dental implants.
Removable complete denture. These sit on top of the gums to replace missing teeth. They can cause sore gums, discomfort, affect your ability to experience the full taste of food, and shift and click in your mouth when you smile, speak, eat, cough, or yawn.
While they are inexpensive, they only last 7 to 15 years, and cost money each time they are replaced. They must be removed regularly for cleaning. The natural bone beneath a complete denture can deteriorate,.
Advantages of implants
There are a number of advantages to dental implants, including:
- Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth. Because they fuse to bone, they become permanent.
- Better speech. With dentures, teeth can slip causing you to slur or mumble when you speak. Dental implants allow speech without worry!
- Increased comfort. Implants eliminate the chafing and pressure of dentures.
- Easier eating. The movement of dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants allow you to eat your favourite foods with confidence and comfort.
- Raised self-esteem. Dental implants restore your smile, letting and you feel better about yourself.
- Increased oral health. Dental implants don’t require damaging other teeth. Your teeth are intact, increasing long-term dental health and making oral hygiene easier.
- Durability. Implants are extremely durable and should last many years – many implants last a lifetime.
- Convenience. Dental implants eliminate embarrassment, mess, and inconvenience of adhering then removing dentures.
The true cost of alternatives
When considering various alternatives think about:
- Startup cost versus total cost. The initial cost of dentures and bridges does not include the cost of replacing them. And you may have to replace them every 5 to 15 years. It also doesn’t cover maintenance, such as adhesives and cleaning supplies.
- The convenience costs. Unlike your natural teeth or implants, you need to remove dentures to clean them.
- The health costs. Without an implant, your jawbone deteriorates, which can harm your facial appearance.
- The social costs. Dentures can click or slip in public.
Financially, dental implants become cost-competitive as time passes. When you factor in the quality of life and long-term oral health, dental implants become a higher-value choice.
The Warner Lakes Dental Care Experience
Warner dentist wants your visit to be the quickest, best, and most convenient dental experience you’ve ever had. From parking to treatment, we make the process as straightforward and painless as possible.
From routine check-ups and cleans to tooth implants; Warner Lakes Dental is your partner in dental health.
We want you and your family to enjoy life with a brilliant smile and a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums!
Call us for information at (07) 3448 0162 or visit us online.