For too many years, there were very few good solutions for people who were missing multiple teeth and wanted to restore their smile. The typical solution was removable partial or full dentures, but these have numerous quality-of-life issues for the wearer:
They are often very large and cover much of the upper palette, which can cause a gagging sensation.
They’re prone to shrinkage over time and often require many trips to the dentist over the years for new denture sets.
Suction or glue-based support is unreliable, and can result in the dentures popping loose at awkward moments.
They have to be constantly removed and cleaned separately, which many find to be an uncomfortable or “gross” process.
Comparing Implant Bridges vs. Dentures in Austin, TX
Traditionally, bridges were used when a patient was missing one or two teeth, but had relatively strong and solid teeth on either side of the gap. A removable bridge containing replacement teeth was fashioned and then anchored to those solid teeth. Besides having to be periodically removed for cleaning, the issue here is that if those anchor teeth degraded, the bridge became useless.
Implant bridges rely on studs implanted directly into the patient’s jaw, creating a stable anchor for the bridge. This allows them to remain in place for longer, with much less chance of popping loose.
When the patient is missing most or all of their teeth, implant dentures become a potential option. A series of studs are implanted in their mouth, which the dentures then hook onto directly. In some cases, these dentures can be cleaned like regular teeth, with far less need to remove them.
Implant dentures are more stable, less prone to shrinkage, and are also much smaller than traditional dentures.
The Downside to Implants?
Implants aren’t a quick-fix solution. They require extensive surgical work on the jaw to implant the anchor studs, meaning it takes time and -yes- some pain to do properly. The end result is terrific, but not all patients are willing to go through the process necessary to install them.
If you are missing teeth, you have options! Your first step is to contact the experts at Modern Family Dentistry in Austin, TX, for a full evaluation of your dental situation. We can talk you through the options, and help you make the right choice.