Living with few usable teeth or no teeth at all has a huge impact on the way you eat and speak. But not everyone can afford to replace most, or all, of their teeth with dental implants. Fortunately, dentures are cheaper and offer you at least some of your former bite strength and capability back.
But you might be struggling to decide between an implant denture and a traditional, unsupported denture. When weighing up the pros and cons of each, a good place to start is how they affect your jawbones.
Implant-Supported Dentures Prevent Jawbone Loss
There are several main differences between implant-supported dentures and traditional dentures. For instance, because the implants hold the denture in place, eating, speaking and singing are all easy to do with implant-supported dentures. And you don't need to use sticky denture adhesive when wearing implant dentures. But the main advantage of implant dentures is their effect on bone.
After you lose a tooth, you also lose the bone that once held that tooth in place. This bone loss changes the shape of your face and leaves you with wrinkles. But dental implants actually stimulate bone growth. Once a prosthodontist places the titanium posts into your jaw, probably 2 to 4 implants, the bone that surrounds those implants begins to grow.
Once healed, your newly acquired bone will hold your implants in place. So, you won't lose bone, and your face will remain the same with dental implant dentures.
Unsupported Dentures Could Cause Bone Loss
Unfortunately, traditional dentures can only slow the rate of bone loss; they cannot prevent it. This is because they don't exert enough force against your jawbone when you chew your food. The human jawbone responds to force. When you lose a tooth, you no longer exert chewing force against the bone in that area. Your body takes this as a cue to resorb the bone where the tooth was.
Chewing with traditional dentures doesn't replicate the force of chewing with natural teeth. In addition, because your jawbone will gradually resorb while you wear your dentures, your dentures will no longer fit as comfortably as they once did. Ill-fitting dentures rub against your gums and the underlying bone, speeding up the natural rate of bone loss.
Implant dentures help to keep your jawbone and facial structure intact while allowing you to eat and speak comfortably. Traditional dentures, on the other hand, will only slow the rate of bone loss.