Losing teeth can dramatically change one’s appearance, and not for the better. Tooth loss can happen for all kinds of reasons, including aging, accidents, periodontal disease, and poor nutrition. The two most common ways to replace missing teeth are with dental implants or with dentures. Dentures are a frequent choice for people who have lost all or most of their teeth. Dentists work with you to create dentures that look as natural as possible and fit well so that you can chew. Of course, there will still be certain foods you need to avoid with dentures (for example, foods like popcorn or taffy). Unfortunately, dentures only restore about 20% of natural chewing ability so you will have to be very conscious about what you are eating. One more thing to keep in mind is that dentures do require a lot of care and upkeep. After every meal they should be removed and carefully cleaned with a toothbrush. They should also be removed at night and either cleaned with a toothbrush or soaked in a cleaning solution overnight.
Dental implants are an alternative to dentures that are a popular option. Dr. Grabiak offers implants for patients whether they are missing just a single tooth or many teeth. Unlike dentures, dental implants offer the comfort and appearance as well as the function of real teeth. Dental implants have a success rate of around 95% and are considered by many to be a more modern alternative to dentures because they are stronger and are permanently implanted so that there is no slippage like there is with dentures. The procedure is two parts: first, small titanium cylinders are implanted which serve as the base of each tooth and there is a healing period where the cylinder fuses to the bone to create a steady base. Once this is healed, a prosthetic tooth is created custom and attached to each implant, restoring both the appearance and function of real teeth. At Denver Dentistry, Dr. Guy Grabiak is an experienced dental implant specialist and can consult with you further about whether the procedure is right for you.