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Posted February 24, 2017

When facing decisions regarding your oral health and options available to you if you have lost one or more teeth (or need to have a tooth removed and would like to avoid having an unsightly gap in your mouth), the two main options to choose from are dental implants and dentures.

Dental implants are essentially substitute tooth roots that are used to replace original tooth roots. Replacing the entire root helps to preserve the bone that natural tooth roots are embedded in. Implants are natural-looking, can provide support for dentures, and do not affect the teeth bordering them. They are as stable as your real teeth and protect you from the loss of jawbone, which occurs when you lose teeth.

Dentures are replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back into your mouth. There are two main types of dentures: full and partial. With full dentures, a flesh-colored acrylic base fits over your gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate (the roof of your mouth), while that of the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate your tongue. A partial denture rests on a metal framework that attaches to your natural teeth.

Increased Jawbone Protection

When a permanent (adult) tooth is removed and not replaced, bone stimulation stops at that particular site. Because the portion of the jaw bone that had anchored the tooth in the mouth no longer receives physical stimulation, resorption, or the natural process by which large cells (called osteoclasts) break down bone, occurs.

With dental implants, the process of resorption is avoided because the implant actually functions as a natural tooth root. Dentures provide no such protection against jaw bone deterioration because they sit on top of the gums, rather than integrating into them.

Eat What You Like

Because a dental implant acts as a permanent replacement for your removed tooth by being embedded into your gum and jawbone, you are still able to eat the foods you enjoy without worrying about it slipping.

Dentures are well known for slipping while the wearer is eating or even speaking. This is due to the fact that dentures are simply sitting along the gum line with just an adhesive to keep them in place. Eating becomes restricted to the types of foods that won’t dislodge the dentures easily.

Implants Don’t Compromise the Surrounding Teeth

For partial dentures specifically, the requirement to put in and take out the dentures (for cleaning, maintenance, etc.) can cause the natural teeth around them to wear out and become damaged over time.

A dental implant is a permanent tooth replacement that acts as such. There is no need to remove it for cleaning or maintenance because it can be brushed and flossed just as any other tooth can. This keeps the surrounding teeth from becoming damaged or worn out.

Dental Implants Look and Feel More Natural than Dentures

Regardless of the amount paid for dentures, they will never really look or feel completely natural. There is a learning curve to dentures that includes reorienting yourself with how to speak, chew food, and drink beverages normally.

Simply put, dental implants look, feel, and work like real teeth.

No Replacement Necessary

The dental implants at Lifepoint Dental are made from titanium (a biocompatible material accepted by the body), which means they are stronger than the synthetic plastic resins or porcelain used to construct dentures. The implants are much less likely to break or chip, and unlike dentures, which need to be replaced every five years or so, they do not need to be replaced.

Mess-Free Permanence

Because dental implants are made from titanium, are implanted within the gum and jawbone, and help keep the surrounding teeth safe from jawbone deterioration and shifting, needing to have them removed for any reason is quite unnecessary.

Dentures require messy adhesives or wires (in the case of partial dentures) to keep them in place. This means they are much less reliable than dental implants. They also don’t offer the same kind of protection from resorption that implants provide, they are more likely to wear out the teeth around them, and they need to be replaced every few years.

Find Out More…

Our experienced team would be happy to speak with you more concerning the benefits of dental implants. Check out our Dental Implant Resource for more information on our work as a dental implant provider of Iowa.

Please feel free to contact us and schedule a free dental implant consultation at any of our locations.

Our Locations
  • Ames
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Des Moines

Ames Location

137 Lynn Ave.
Ames, IA 50014

515.292.7262

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Cedar Rapids Location

2335 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

319.378.4100

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Des Moines Location

3311 SW 9th St. #200
Des Moines, IA 50315

515.243.7641

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