Medically Reviewed By Dr. Tina Beck

Mature couple holding each otherPeople lose teeth for many reasons. Two of the most common causes of tooth loss is due to severe gum disease or a dental decay (cavities). If you are missing multiple teeth, or think you may need to have several removed, you’re probably wondering what your options are for replacing your missing teeth. At Southern California Periodontics & Implantology in San Diego, Dr. Beck recommends dental implants to patients whose desire the most natural and secure method of replacing multiple teeth.

But what about traditional dentures? Many of Dr. Beck’s patients want to know the difference between dental implants and removable dentures, and the pros and cons of each option. Dr. Beck believes in fully educating her patients to ensure they make the best decision for their personal oral health and aesthetic goals, so keep reading if you are interested to learn some of the differences between these two options.

What You Need to Know About Dental Implants

The world of dentistry has come a LONG way in recent years, including the development of alternatives to dentures for complete tooth replacement. Dental implants have actually been used for decades in various forms, and in the last 20-30 years have become widely utilized for various situations. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, or even all the teeth, replacing the need for traditional dentures. They are so strong and stable that San Diego patients with dental implants are able to talk and chew with confidence, without fear of their dentures flying out, or moving around while trying to eat!

A dental implant is a small post that can be placed in the upper or lower jaw to serve as a replacement for the root portion of a missing tooth. Because of the biocompatible properties of titanium, a dental implant permanently fuses with the jawbone to become a solid anchor for the replacement tooth that goes on top of it (called an abutment and crown). The implant itself also provides stimulation to the jawbone, keeping it strong and healthy. Because of this, dental implants can last a lifetime when properly cared for!

Dental implants can also be used to support permanent bridges when a few teeth are missing in a row, or a solid bridge to replace an entire upper or lower jaw of missing teeth.  Sometimes the implant surgery can even be done at the same time as the tooth removal surgery!  If you already wear dentures, and are happy with the fit and feel of them, but desire better retention and stability while you are talking and chewing, just a few implants can be placed with specialized snap-like tops that allow your current denture to ‘click’ into place, and remain there until you are ready to take it out to clean it. Dental implants offer a lot of tooth replacement options and Dr. Beck will be happy to discuss them all during your consultation.

What You Need to Know About Dentures

Traditional dentures are made to fit each individual’s mouth and provide replacement for teeth and gums. Most San Diego residents who choose dentures do so because they have experienced extensive tooth loss or many of their teeth are unhealthy and need to be removed. Most people know dentures as “full dentures” or simply refer to them as ‘plates’ when all the teeth in an arch are missing.  Partial dentures are used when only a few, not all, of the teeth in an arch are missing, and usually have metal claps that hook around the reaming teeth for support.

Unfortunately, patients who choose traditional dentures over dental implants often experience several inconveniences, such as:

  • Dentures must be removed every night for cleaning (they are not permanently fixed to the jawbone).
  • Dentures tend to slip and slide around the mouth because they have little to hold them in place, particularly when teeth have been missing for a long time and the jawbone has deteriorated.
  • Jawbone continues to deteriorate over time, causing changes in the appearance of the face and lips.
  • San Diego residents who have dentures often need to be careful about what they eat. Because dentures tend to slip around inside the mouth, patients usually need to avoid hard and crunchy, or chewy foods.

For Many Patients, Dental Implants Are the Optimal Choice for Tooth Replacement

Dr. Beck is highly skilled at placing dental implants, and she recommends this type of tooth replacement system to her patients because of their many benefits:

  • They are permanent
  • Dental implants have a long history of success when properly cared for
  • Dental implants are strong and prevent dentures from moving around while eating, talking, or laughing
  • They stimulate jawbone tissue and prevent deterioration over time
  • Dental implants help maintain facial structure and support the lips, preventing facial collapse and deep wrinkles around the mouth
  • They allow patients to eat their favorite foods and restore the confidence they had before their teeth and gums deteriorated
  • They are natural-looking and often look better than the teeth you were born with! 

Call Dr. Beck Today to Schedule Your Initial Consultation

If you’re ready to get a smile you can feel confident about, call Dr. Beck in her San Diego office today at (858) 635-6700 to schedule your first consultation.