Dental Implants vs Dental Partials
Have you lost one or more teeth? You might be surprised to know how often that occurs. More than a third of all Americans have lost at least one tooth. Even more surprising is the fact that more than one in ten has lost all of their teeth. When it’s your tooth, however, statistics don’t mean much.
What really matters to the patients who come to see us at MD Periodontics is finding out what can be done to replace what has been lost and regain a healthy, natural smile. Two popular options are dental implants and partial dentures. What should you know before making a decision about the best choice for you?
What’s Different About Implants?
A fascinating array of strategies for tooth replacement have been tried over the centuries, with attempts at making dentures with human and animal teeth documented as early as 700 B.C. Replacement teeth have been carved from walrus or hippopotamus ivory and crafted with lifelike porcelain. All had one feature in common: they were set in an appliance that sits in the mouth. By contrast, your natural teeth are set in your jawbone. Over the years, techniques for securing false teeth have improved dramatically, but they could offer the stability of a tooth rooted in the jaw. Implants changed all that.
How Do Dentists Attach Implants?
Implants are placed in a two-step surgical process. First, a titanium post is placed in your jaw to create a “root” that will hold the tooth in place. Over three to six months, the post will fuse with the jawbone. When this healing period, known as “osseointegration,” is complete, a false tooth that has been carefully matched to your existing teeth is attached to the post. The tooth can be made of porcelain that is fused to metal, or it can be solid metal or even solid porcelain.
Am I a Candidate for an Implant?
Implant dentistry is a form of surgery, and you would not be eligible for an implant if you have a health issue that makes you ineligible for other surgical procedures. There are a few other reasons why you might not be a candidate:
- You smoke
- You clench or grind your teeth
- You have lost enough bone in your jaw that it will not be possible for the post to fuse to it
- You have osteoporosis and you are taking drugs to treat it
There’s one more factor that should be mentioned in this context. In general, dental insurance will not pay for an implant. This doesn’t have to be a problem; if an implant is right for you, the staff at MD Periodontics can help you with financing options that work for you.
What is A Partial Denture?
Partial dentures are removable devices used to replace one or more missing teeth. Also referred to as “bridges,” they consist of a gum-colored plastic base to which replacement teeth are attached. This is connected to a metal framework is used to attach the partial denture to adjacent teeth. A bridge can be made permanent by placing crowns on adjacent teeth and attaching the bridge to them. This provides more stability, but it does permanently alter the teeth on which the crowns are placed.
Do Implants Have Advantages Over Partials?
A qualified experienced dentist can provide a partial denture that will go far toward restoring your smile. However, if you are qualified for a dental implant, they do offer significant advantages:
- Appearance: Implants look for natural than partial dentures.
- Stability: Partials are subject to some degree of rocking and other unwanted movement. Implants are rooted in the jaw and do not move.
- Dental health: Bacteria can accumulate around a partial denture and contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. The framework that attaches the partial to adjacent teeth can damage them over time.
- Hygiene: Implants can be brushed and flossed as you would natural teeth. Partials require special care.
Why MD Periodontics?
MD Periodontics in Beverly Hills has become a worldwide destination for patients seeking dental implants. Dr. Moshrefi and Dr. Daneshmand, both board-certified periodontists, have a deep understanding of gum and jaw structure. They have received special training in implant procedures and have completed more than 1,000 implant procedures – and experience matters.
MD Periodontics’ holistic approach to dentistry incorporates the least toxic materials and the most advanced technology available and the spa-like atmosphere at our offices includes amenities such as aromatherapy to reduce discomfort and stress for an experience that is surprisingly pleasant.