“I want to take out all of my teeth!” It is not uncommon for patients to present at the dental office who want to remove all of their teeth. Sometimes the motivation is their never ending need for dental treatment, sometimes the perception is that this will be most cost effective option, sometimes they heard from someone who wears dentures that dentures are great. Another common motivator for removing all of the teeth is the desire to have a nice smile, or in other cases to be free from pain. In this blog update we’ll explore some of the risks of removing all of your teeth and some of the alternatives to dentures.
The Problems with Dentures
Traditional dentures (removable plastic plates) are the most commonly provided tooth replacement for someone who has lost all of their teeth. However, many are surprised that removal of all of the teeth and denture fabrication can sometimes be as costly (or more) than fixing your existing teeth. Be absolutely certain that all options have been exhausted to save your teeth before electing to remove them.
Tooth pain is a common motivator for getting dentures; but many are unaware that dentures themselves can be responsible for a new kind of pain, denture sores. Since the gums were never intended to support a plastic plate, they are often traumatized by the denture. The denture constantly rubs over the gums in function eventually causing sores.
Cosmetic reasons are another motivator for tooth removal. It is true that denture teeth can look very natural and individualized. However, if the dentures are constantly moving and falling during speech there is a whole new social embarrassment involved. Denture wearers often hope that a new denture will fix these loose denture problems, but more often the loose denture is due to shrinkage of the remaining jaw bone over time; this cannot be fixed with a new denture.
The biggest disadvantage of false teeth is that chewing efficiency decreases significantly, so much so that denture wearers often have to dramatically adapt their diet. Once loved foods such as steak, or nuts or fresh raw vegetables may be off the menu for good.
Alternatives to Traditional Dentures
Dental Implants – Those who are looking for a permanent replacement won’t find anything better than an implant. These synthetic teeth are drilled right into a patient’s jawbone, where they will eventually fuse via a natural process called osseointegration.
The device literally becomes a part of the patient’s jaw, thereby preventing it from coming loose. Implants are strongly advised for people who need to have individual teeth replaced, or whose jawbone is suffering from increased wear and needs to be protected.
Highly durable and made to look and feel like natural teeth, it’s no wonder that dental implants have been hailed as one of the top denture alternatives. The only downside to implants is their high cost; they are usually the most expensive replacement method, but with that comes premium quality.
Snap-On Dentures – These are a hybrid between standard dentures and full-on implants. Snap-ons attach to a series of implants that are positioned in the patient’s mouth.
The implants function like their regular counterparts, in that they are fused with the jawbone. However, the key difference is that they allow dentures to be snapped on and off with O-ring attachments.
Since they contain no palate, snap-ons tend to fit better and more comfortably than traditional dentures, and they are also cheaper than regular implants. This device is essentially the middle ground between the two options.
The dentists at Pearl Dental can help you pick the right denture alternative for your needs. Feel free to schedule a consultation with our staff, today.