Over 40 million Americans have no natural teeth, including 1 in 4 of all people aged 65 and over. Tens of millions more are missing some of their teeth. This means that if you’re considering dentures, you’re not alone; in fact, you or someone close to you are in the majority, because over 60% of all U.S. residents could potentially use implants, bridges or dentures!
On this page, we’ll explain the difference between the 3. Afterwards, we’ll explain how you can get a full set of teeth identical to your natural ones with as little as four implants!
Implants vs. Bridges vs. Dentures
A bridge is a row of 1-3 artificial teeth that’s attached to natural teeth on both sides. Bridges can last for years and look exactly like the real thing – but the problem is, you can’t get them if you have few of your own teeth left.
An implant is an object that’s attached to your organic tissue. This is usually a screw that goes into your jawbone through your gums. Once your gums heal from the surgery, you can attach a single crown, a bridge of teeth or a denture to the implant – usually with an additional metal part, called the “abutment”, connecting the screw with the artificial tooth.
A denture is essentially a large “bridge” consisting of multiple artificial teeth attached to soft “gum” tissue. In the past, dentures were removable – but today, dental technology allows us to create dentures that look, work and chew exactly like your own natural teeth.
These dentures, which can be attached to as few as 4 implants, are non-removable, meaning you can never forget them, lose them or risk them drying out and becoming a bad fit.
The Process of Getting Dentures
As we said above, the process of getting dentures doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive or painful. First, you come in for an evaluation, where a doctor helps you choose the right kind of denture for you from amongst full and partial dentures – as well as immediate and conventional options.
Once you agree on the kind of denture that works for you, a mold is made, and you select a tooth color that’s right for you with your doctor. Then, the results are sent to a dental lab, where your denture gets made.
Meanwhile, your dentist removes any excess teeth and attaches as many implants as you need. Depending on the option you chose earlier, you can attach your denture as soon as that’s done – or wait for your mouth to heal fully first. If you choose the former option, you will have to come in to re-align your denture once your gum and bone tissue heal.
The shortest road from having no teeth to having all of them can take as little as 2 weeks. If you need multiple implants and numerous tooth removal sessions, you may need 3 or 4 weeks at the least – and 3 at the most (if you choose to let your mouth heal first).
To learn more, call us at (781) 277-3120 for a free consultation; we’re always happy to help you pick the best dental choice for yourself!