178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth.
30 million have no natural teeth at all.
Tooth loss, tooth decay, and other common dental afflictions continue to be endemic in the United States despite improved dental hygiene, advanced dental treatment technologies, and widespread public education initiatives.
While tooth loss isn’t fatal, it can have huge dental health implications in the long term. Not only does edentulism make eating, biting, chewing, and speaking more difficult, it also results in dental shifting, bone resorption and atrophy, and malocclusion.
The longer a patient with missing teeth waits to seek restorative treatment (i.e. implant supported dentures), the greater the likelihood of a ripple effect of secondary dental and oral damage occurring that will be much more challenging and costly to fix later on.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
Even one or two missing teeth left untreated or ignored can cause a significant dental health headache. This is due to natural processes that occur as a result of edentulism, primarily dental shifting and bone resorption. Dental shifting is the natural movement of teeth in the mouth over time. When a tooth is lost, adjacent teeth will rapidly, within a period of months to a few years, shift into the resulting gap. The result is often overcrowded, crooked, misaligned, and maloccluded teeth which, can in turn, lead to more tooth decay, gingivitis, and further tooth loss.
While visible shifting occurs above the gum line, below the gums, resorption is a major concern. Without natural teeth to stimulate the jaw bone via the transfer of bite forces through a tooth’s roots into the underlying bone, the jaws begin to waste away.
Left untreated for an extended period of time, resorption of underlying bone structures will eventually result in a hollowed out look and make treatment with dental implants impossible without costly bone grafts.
Replacing missing teeth helps to maintain critical bone infrastructure as well as keep healthy teeth in place. When faced with missing teeth, the best course of action is to replace those teeth, root and all.
"The longer a patient with missing teeth waits to seek restorative treatment, the greater the likelihood of a ripple effect of secondary dental and oral damage occurring that will be much more challenging and costly to fix later on."
--- DR. REZA KHAZAIE, DDS.
Dental Implants vs. Dentures
Out of all the tooth replacement therapies available today, dental implants are the treatment of choice for tooth loss. That’s because dental implants mimic the mechanics of a tooth’s natural roots providing a conduit for the forces of chewing to stimulate the jaws.
Traditional removable dentures, which rely on suction and rest on the soft tissues of the gums for support, provide no such stimulation to the underlying bone. While accessible and relatively cheap, traditional dentures to not provide the resorption-fighting benefits associated with individual dental implants. The same critique applies to the majority of other tooth restoration techniques, such as bridges, that are not implant supported. They address aesthetics without halting the problem of underlying bone resorption.
Unfortunately for many, conventional individual dental implants, in which each replacement tooth must be painstakingly embedded by a highly skilled prosthodontist, isn’t always the most cost effective solution for every patient.
Cost per tooth for a single unit replacement can range between $1000 to $3,000 or more.
For patients looking for the best results and a long lasting solution to edentulism, without compromising their future dental and oral health, there is now a viable solution: implant supported dentures.
Implant Supported Dentures: The Best of Both Worlds
Implant supported dentures are denture prosthetics that are attached and held in place by implants rather than resting on the soft tissues of the gums. A limited number of strategically placed, specially-designed dental implants allow for structural stability. For patients looking to replace multiple teeth or even receive an entirely new smile including upper and lower arches, implant supported dentures can be a great alternative to individual implants.
A full set of teeth, including upper and lower arches, require only eight total implants, or four per arch. This technique is sometimes referred to as All-On-Four dental implants. In comparison, full mouth reconstruction and restoration using conventional single unit implants would require a staggering 32 individual implants along with all the associated costs, and operation and recovery times.
Implant-supported dentures, on the other hand, can often be completed in a single visit. Patients with partial or complete edentulism can, in many cases, come to Willow Pass Dental Care in the morning for an initial consultation and leave in the afternoon with a brand new set of beautifully crafted teeth. Even patients lacking the bone depth necessary for a conventional implant procedure can receive implant supported dentures without prerequisite bone grafts. This makes implant supported dentures particularly suitable for older patients suffering from edentulism looking for a less invasive procedure, reduced recovery times, and faster results at a more affordable price.
Implant Supported Denture Advantages
- Implant-based support system
- Less costly for full mouth reconstruction and restoration than conventional individual implants
- Reduced procedure and recovery times
- Combats bone resorption
- Natural feel and aesthetics
- Longer lasting than traditional dentures
- Excellent aesthetics
The Best Prosthodontists Get The Best Dental Implant Results
When it comes to tooth replacement treatments and therapies, the number one difference maker is the prosthodontist in charge. Whether you opt for individual implants, implant supported dentures or traditional dentures, it is important to have a prosthodontist who is not only experienced and certified but also has a long and verifiable history of great dental work.
Are you considering dental implants, implant supported dentures, or just simple dentures? Remember the best Prosthodontists get the best results. Willow Pass Dental Care and Dr. Reza Khazaie is regarded as one of the leading dentists in Concord, CA. We offer a broad range of dental services in a friendly and professional environment that you can call home.
Schedule a consultation today by calling 925-326-6114 or complete our online form below to schedule an appointment.