Dentures have long been the most common replacement for missing teeth. Some people get dentures because they don’t know they have other options. Others get dentures because it’s a simple solution, and the experience of losing one or more teeth hits them emotionally, making it hard to consider options. Still, others weren’t financially prepared to get dental implants when they lost their teeth, so they settled for dentures. 

No matter the reason why you chose dentures, you are likely unsatisfied with the performance of your dentures. Dentures have numerous shortcomings that make people want to switch to dental implants. At StarImage Dental Boutique & Oral Surgery, we have the expertise, experience, and equipment to help you make this transition smoothly.

Why Switch to Dental Implants?

If you’re a denture wearer, you are familiar with all the problems that dentures can cause. Dental implants solve these problems, and you’ll enjoy numerous benefits, including:

  • No foreign body sensation
  • Effective chewing–eat all your favorite foods
  • Clear speech
  • No dentures falling out of the mouth
  • Greater comfort
  • Long-lasting restorations
  • Permanent dental implants

Problems with excess salivation, dry mouth, and gagging are often linked to a sense that dentures aren’t part of you–they’re something you just put in your mouth. Because of how implant dentures attach to dental implants, they feel more like natural teeth. 

Dental implants anchor replacement teeth so you can use them to chew and speak effectively. You’ll be able to eat all your favorite foods again–even those you gave up before you got dentures. Implant dentures are also secure–they won’t fall out when you eat, talk, or laugh. 

Dentures often hurt because they just rest on your gums. When you bite and chew with them, they put this bite force on your gums, which are soft tissues unsuited to support your bite force. Dental implants can direct bite force into the bone so you won’t put painful pressure on your gums when you chew. 

Dentures wear out quickly. Many people find they have to replace dentures every few years. Even if the dentures themselves aren’t worn out, their fit changes. This might require relines as frequently as every six months. Implant dentures typically last 10-15 years, and the dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for. 

Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Most people are candidates for dental implants. There are only three requirements you have to meet. You must be:

  • Missing one or more teeth
  • An adult whose jaws have stopped growing
  • Healthy enough for surgery

If you have dentures, we know you meet the first requirement. The second requirement relates to the fact that dental implants don’t interact with your jawbone exactly like natural teeth. This can potentially cause problems if your jaw is still growing. It also means that you can’t use orthodontics on dental implants. If you still have some natural teeth and want to straighten them, do it before you get implants.

There’s no upper age limit for dental implants. As long as you’re healthy enough for surgery, you can get them into your 90s or even 100s! Sometimes, we might want to consult your doctor to ensure you’re fit for surgery. 

Factors That Affect Dental Implants

Although they won’t keep you from getting dental implants, there are some other factors to consider because they might affect your dental implant procedure. These include:

  • Current or previous smoking
  • Oral health
  • Amount of jawbone at implant site(s)
  • Your commitment to care

Smoking can affect the success rate of dental implants. Although dental implants are 98% successful for most candidates, smoking can significantly increase your risk of implant failure. Good oral health is essential for dental implants. Gum disease can lead to implant loss, as it’s the leading cause of natural tooth loss. If you currently have gum disease, we’ll want to treat it before your dental implant surgery. 

Dental implants rely on your jawbone for support. If you don’t have enough jawbone to support your implants, you might need a bone graft before getting implants. This is common if you’ve been wearing dentures for a long time–denture wear leads to jawbone loss. 

Finally, it is important to consider your commitment to caring for dental implants before you get them. Dental implants require similar maintenance to natural teeth. You’ll want to brush, floss daily, and see the dentist regularly. If you’re not prepared to do that, you might not want to invest in implants.

What Type of Implant Dentures Do You Want?

Not all dental implants are the same, especially for full implant dentures. The most important distinction is between implant-retained dentures and implant-supported dentures. 

Implant-retained dentures use dental implants mostly to hold dentures in your mouth. Much of the bite force still rests on your gums. Implant-retained dentures are best if:

  • Your main concerns are about loose dentures
  • You want a less expensive dental implant solution
  • You are satisfied with bite force

Implant-retained dentures are very secure. Your dental implants hold them in place as you talk, laugh, or chew–they won’t fall out under normal circumstances. 

However, implant-retained dentures won’t do much for your bite force, so this might not be right if you hope to improve your bite force. 

Implant-supported dentures use more dental implants. This lets them direct bite force to the implants and your jawbone. This helps them function just like natural teeth–you will be able to bite about as hard as you could with natural teeth. 

Can I Convert My Current Dentures to Implant Dentures?

When moving from dentures to dental implants, people often ask if they can turn their current dentures implant dentures. 

Yes, this is possible in some cases. The denture should be relatively new and in good shape. This conversion is often recommended if you’re looking to get implant-retained dentures. For implant-supported dentures, the forces might be too much for traditional dentures. It’s often best to get implant dentures designed for implant-supported dentures. 

Cost of Dental Implants

Dental implants are more expensive than traditional dentures. However, as a custom procedure, we can’t give a specific cost until after we perform your full exam and develop your treatment plan. Some of the factors that affect the cost of your dental implant procedure include:

  • Number of dental implants used
  • Type of dental restoration placed on implants
  • Supplemental procedures you require

The number of dental implants you need is one of the largest factors in the cost of your implant procedure. If replacing a partial denture, you might need just one or two dental implants. For implant-retained full dentures, you might need two to four dental implants. We might recommend four, six, or even eight dental implants for implant-supported dental implants. 

If you’re replacing a partial denture, you might need just a dental crown or a short bridge, which can be inexpensive. To replace full dentures, you will need full implant dentures, which cost more than traditional dentures because they are sturdier. Implant-supported dentures often utilize advanced materials to make them strong enough to withstand bite forces. This makes them more expensive than implant-retained dentures. 

Finally, if you need gum disease treatment or bone grafting before your implant procedure, this can increase the cost of your dental implants.

Considering Dental Implants?

If you’re tired of the limitations of traditional dentures, now might be a great time to consider upgrading to implant dentures. 

To learn more details about how this transition can benefit you, please call (817) 587-4414 or use our online form today to request an appointment at StarImage Dental Boutique & Oral Surgery in Southlake, TX.