Missing even one tooth can cause a shift in your smile that can eventually lead to a misaligned bite or crooked or gapped teeth. When a natural tooth is lost, our jaws compensate for the loss by reabsorbing the jawbone around the missing tooth’s root, which can lead to a less full appearance in your face.
Having several missing teeth or losing an entire set of teeth can cause bigger problems than your appearance, however—chewing food can be difficult if not impossible, and speaking can become problematic as well.
Fortunately, there are options to replace your missing teeth. Two of these are all-on-four dental implants and dentures. Let’s review the pros and cons of each of these restorative options!
Benefits of Going with All-on-Four Dental Implants
A single dental implant is designed to replace a missing natural tooth. But with all-on-four dental implants, you can replace an entire mouthful of teeth with just four dental implants.
Here’s how it works: between four and six dental implants are strategically placed in your mouth and allowed to heal, or in other words, fuse with your jawbone. Then, a restoration is placed, which is essentially a replica of your teeth that securely attaches to the implants. The results is a realistic, sturdy, and functional replacement to your natural teeth. Many patients are highly satisfied with the results of their all-on-four implants !
Why Dentures Might Be a Good Fit
Dentures are cost-effective solutions to your missing teeth and can last several years with the right care . Generally, dentures will need to be replaced every few years to ensure a comfortable fit.
Most dentures are designed to fit so that they create a seal with your gums, while some patients find adhesive is helpful to keeping dentures in place—they don’t “attach” to anything except your gum tissue. While dentures will stimulate your jaw somewhat, they won’t prevent the loss of jawbone the same way dental implants will.
However, with dentures, you won’t have to worry about having enough bone in your jaw to support a dental implant, which can be a concern for some people who have been missing teeth for quite some time.
What’s the Verdict?
Both all-on-four implants and dentures allow you to get a set of replacement teeth quickly. However, with all-on-four implants, you’ll need to follow a specific diet for a few months with a temporary restoration while your dental implants heal. Then, your permanent restoration can be placed .
So while both can offer a functional replacement for your missing teeth, many patients view all-on-four dental implants as more of an investment. Why?
Dental implants never need to be replaced, unlike dentures. They also provide a more secure option, as your artificial set of teeth will attach onto the implants, allowing you to eat whatever you like once your final restoration is in place. And finally, dental implants facilitate jawbone growth, allowing you to prevent a sunken facial appearance upon removing your dentures.
Regardless of which replacement you choose for your natural teeth, the right dental restoration can allow you to chew, speak, and smile with ease, giving you the ability to enjoy your teeth again!