It’s true that in most cases a denture or bridge brings back much of the form and function of missing teeth. But a natural tooth does a lot more than help you cut and grind food and give out nice smiles. It also plays an important role under the gumline where you can’t see it … something a denture simply doesn’t do.
Natural teeth need the support of the bone in your jaw. When you lose a tooth, the bone shrinks and weakens. For most people, the amount of bone loss isn’t too serious – there’s still enough to make a good solid foundation for a denture. But unfortunately for some patients, shrinking bone can trigger a number of problems. It can cause dentures to fit more loosely, making it hard to bite and chew. Underlying gum becomes sore and painful, and speech is sometimes impaired, and along with it, self-image.
Dental implants are the closest cousin to natural teeth. They are permanent false teeth anchored right into your jawbone, just like your natural teeth. They’re more stable than dentures, so you can eat with ease and comfort. Many patients find implants give them a more positive self-image and more confidence.
Dental implant treatment does require a greater investment of time and money, but in the long run, it’s well worth it.