SunWest Blog

Dental Alternatives to Dentures

denturesIf your dentist has told you that dentures or some other restorative procedure is in your near future, you may have some questions about your options. While some version of traditional dentures have been the standard protocol for replacing missing teeth for several years, advances in dental technology have given your Arizona dentist more ways to treat tooth loss. Here’s a look at some of those advances.

Dental Implants

In 1952, an orthopedic surgeon discovered that titanium has a special property that allows it to fuse with bone. Called osseointegration, this property of the metal became the basis of modern dental implants. Since then, dental implants have become the safest and most reliable form of tooth replacement. Because they fuse with the bone in your jaw, dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth, and don’t slip when you chew or talk.

Overdentures

More similar to traditional dentures, but more permanently fixed in the mouth, overdentures are designed to go over teeth or dental implants. The overdenture is attached to natural tooth roots or the titanium tooth roots used in dental implant surgery. This is a great alternative to dentures because they are more securely fastened in place. They don’t move or fall out of place when you’re eating or talking. Benefits of overdentures include aesthetic appeal, proper jaw alignment, improved speech compared to traditional dentures, and improved ability to chew.

An overdenture uses instruments that fasten it to the jawbone. This procedure mimics the way that natural teeth are held in place. One type of overdenture requires the use of bar joints to support the dentures and the surrounding teeth, which often have to be adjusted to make room for the overdentures. Bars on the upper arch of the jaw need more implants than those on the lower arch because there is less bone density in the upper jaw

Despite advances in modern dentistry, edentulism (tooth loss) remains common in the U.S. and tooth replacement will continue to be important in the foreseeable future. If you’ve lost one or more teeth, make an appointment with your Sun City dentist today to discuss treatment options.