Everyone wants a perfect smil,e and deciding which approach is right for you can be challenging. If your own teeth need replacing, the two main options are dentures or dental implants. At present, dental implants are only available on the NHS if multiple teeth need to be removed and there is a medical condition preventing the use of dentures so if implants are considered for cosmetic reasons they can cost upwards of £350 depending on the dental practice and the extent of replacement. Most people are going to require private treatment if they’re looking to improve their smile through implants.
Dentures are available on the NHS for both medical and cosmetic reasons and can be fitted as either a complete denture or a partial denture. This is done by creating an impression of the gums or the gap between teeth in order to ‘build’ a denture set.
When opting for a complete denture, many dentists choose to create the impression as soon as possible but this may mean having to remake the dentures after a few weeks as the gums will heal and change shape slightly. If you need to have teeth removed prior to getting dentures, it is advised that you wait until the gums have fully healed and reshaped to avoid the hassle of ill-fitting dentures. The process can take up to 3 weeks before your denture will be ready for use.
Partial dentures are created to ‘fill in’ gaps left behind by missing teeth and can be made to replace just one tooth or multiple teeth. This process is much quicker as your dentist only needs to measure the gap and order a prefabricated denture to match your missing teeth. Partial tend to be made of a plastic or metal plate which clips onto the neighbouring teeth.
Dental implants are permanent replacement teeth which are surgically connected to the gums. This is a 3 stage process which can be done under local anaesthetic by your dentist. The implant ‘roots’ are surgically buried into the gum first. These ‘roots’ are simple screw-like metal rods which the tooth will later attach to. Once these are in place, your dentist will leave the gums to completely heal before attaching the teeth. The replacement teeth are then permanently bolted to the ‘roots’ in a separate procedure.
This treatment is not available on the NHS as it is classified as a cosmetic operation, but the majority of private clinics will offer the treatment. The results can be quite staggering, so it’s often a worthwhile investment despite the relatively high cost when compared to dentures. Many places will offer payment plans to help spread the cost, which can make it easier to make the leap.
It’s really a personal decision, and ultimately comes down to your personal preferences and your financial options. On paper, implants are the superior choice, but everyone has their own situation to consider. Both treatments are extremely effective ways of replacing missing teeth.