Function follows form when it comes to teeth, and both dentures and implants can help the mouth function properly.

But, how do you know if you should get implants or dentures?

Dr. Hinze said that dentures have one-third of the chewing strength as regular teeth.

“If you enjoy your tough steak on Saturday nights, say goodbye to that if you have dentures,” he said.

For those who are missing teeth and have enough bone in their jaw, implants are the better choice.

Although implants can be expensive, leaving a gap in the mouth from a missing tooth can be more expensive and cause more harm in the future. The teeth around the missing tooth will begin to squeeze into that space, thus causing bite problems and a higher chance of gum disease and decay.

An implant is a permanent, prosthetic tooth that looks and functions like the real thing. It involves implanting a screw-like structure that is embedded into the bone. It takes about three months for that implant to fuse with the bone. After that time, an abutment or connector is placed on the implant. Then a tooth or crown is placed on the abutment.

To get an implant, a patient must have an ample amount of bone in the jaw to attach to the implant. Sometimes, bone can be added through grafting if needed.  A dental bone graft replaces missing bone in the jaw with bone grafting material to encourage regeneration.

Implants are ideal for patients with a few missing teeth here and there and who have strong jawbones.

Dentures are full or partial replacements for missing teeth that can be taken out and put back in your mouth. They are sometimes called “false teeth.” The dentures fit over the gums and are a solution for people with missing teeth who may not have enough bone to hold implants.

If you have missing teeth and would like to build up your confidence and smile again and have a healthier mouth, please call Dr. Hinze at (308) 995-5331 to discuss the best solution for you.