For thousands of years humans have been trying to find a way to replace lost teeth for both functional and aesthetic reasons. Variations from bamboo to wood and even human teeth with wires have been tried, some more effective than others. The development of modern dentures was game-changing relative to their earlier iterations, but still not the homerun that every denture wearer was hoping for.
Common Complaints About Dentures
Dentures have struggled to be comfortable and effective functional replacements for our natural teeth.
Often, either they look great but cause discomfort, or they’re comfortable but out of proportion for the
face. This is not necessarily the fault of the dentures themselves – in fact, in some ways our biology
works against dentures.
Your teeth and jaw share an intimate relationship and work together to keep one another strong and stable. The human jaw is exceptionally strong, even compared to gorillas! Gorillas would win the long game as far as jaw strength, but the clench power of a human jaw outdoes that of the gorilla in a short period – since humans are not well adapted to chewing plant matter all day and quickly fatigues with the repetitive motion. This is important to know, because it is actually our strong bite forces that keep our jaw bones in shape!
Every time we chomp down on our dinner, the bite forces are distributed across
the upper and lower arches and down into their roots in the sockets. This pressure is critical for bone
retention, since bone is always changing in the face. When the jawbone is challenged with pressure
from bite forces, it responds by calling in ‘reinforcements’ in the form of nutrients and minerals to
maintain the density of the jaw under these demands. When teeth are lost, bite forces cannot be
distributed to the jawbone the same way because there are no roots extending down into the sockets.
So, bite forces end up being distributed laterally across the dental arches, but as little as 10% of this
pressure finds its way to the jawbone.
The result of this loss of stimulus is a gradual degeneration of the jawbone known as bone resorption. Without sufficient stimulus, resorption can significantly effect the appearance of the lower face and profile. Because of this constant changing of jaw shape, dentures struggle to keep up and the result is often an uncomfortable fit.
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We look forward to providing you with quality dental care in Sherwwod Park to ensure you have a healthy and happy smile for life! Please give us a call @ 780-570-1700 or request an appointment online.
All services performed by a general dentist.
When science made the discovery that titanium has the capacity to bond with bone, the implications for dentistry and medicine were huge. This meant that we would start experimenting with the use of titanium for restorative dentistry. Years later, dental implants would be offered as a viable long-term alternative to superficial prosthetics like crowns, bridges and, yes, dentures. Dental Implants are the solution to bone resorption that we have been waiting for!
By screwing a titanium root into the jawbone where the tooth or teeth have been lost, the titanium and bone begin to undergo what is called osseointegration. Once healed, the titanium rod offers a strong and reliable base for the attachment of a false tooth. Now, pressure from chewing can once again travel laterally as well as into the jaw via the socket. Dental implants deliver approximately 80% of the bite forces of natural teeth into the jaw, giving patients a viable solution to the concern of bone resorption.
Investing in Your Health
Undertaking dental implant surgery can require an investment starting about $3000 per implant in Alberta, with the cost going up for full implants. These prices reflect the cost of the materials used,
the number of implants placed, and the skill required to perform dental implant surgery. Although the
research is ongoing, evidence suggests a reasonable estimate of the longevity of a successful dental
implant to be upward of 30 years.
Full sets of implants do not mean as many implants as teeth – it typically refers to what is referred to as ‘all-on-four’ implants. In this configuration, implants are placed in each quadrant of the upper and lower dental arches, with each implant supporting approximately three teeth. On top of the implants are abutments used to attach a full set of dentures in place. The result is a tremendous service to your long- term nutritional health, comfort and bone density – three things that are difficult to assign a value to.
Dentures are not susceptible to decay, nor is the titanium implant, but the tissues that surround and support them are still susceptible to the effects of plaque bacteria and its associated medical conditions (gingivitis and gum disease). It is important to maintain good oral health standards in order to protect your investment in implants, as well as your overall health.
If you have questions about this or other services offered by our general dentists, contact our clinic today.
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About Sherwood Park Dental
Learn more about Sherwood Park Dental and our dedicated team here! All services performed by a general dentist.