Dental Implants

Replacing a Tooth

Dental implants are the state of the art way to replace missing teeth for our East Peoria, Peoria, Pekin, Washington, Metamora and Morton patients. They can be used to replace a single tooth or a full mouth of teeth. They are a terrific innovation in dentistry, making ill-fitting and uncomfortable dentures and bridges a thing of the past. Peoria dental implant dentist Dr. Hudson can help replace missing or lost teeth with permanent implants that will look and feel like your natural teeth.

Dental Implants

Dr. Hudson talks about dental implants and how they can be used to replace missing teeth.

What is the success rate Dental Implants?

Dr. Hudson explains the success rate and longevity of dental implants.

The Hard Truth about Dentures

We all know someone in our lives who has dentures. Some of us may know someone who does pretty well with a denture, but most of us know people who really struggle with wearing and eating with them. As a dentist, I’ve had the unique perspective of seeing people of all different ages, genders, and sizes dealing with dentures. Those who make the transition from teeth to dentures and those who have worn dentures for many years. And with all of their cumulative experiences, I can say with a lot of confidence that the majority of people do not properly acclimate to removable dentures and live a normal high quality life in regards to their mouth, their smile, and their chewing function.

For years and years, the denture was our only option to replace a lost set of teeth. When compared to having no teeth at all, a denture is a reasonable alternative. But modern dentistry has evolved and now we have greater options to compare that denture to. The denture should realistically no longer be considered as an option to replace teeth.

You can view our other tooth replacement options and hear all about their benefits. But this article is really to dive a little deeper into why dentures should not be considered if at all possible.

1. Dentures Cause Reduced Chewing Ability and Taste

Unlike real teeth (as well as dental implants), dentures are not anchored into any bone. Rather, they sit on top of the gums. This severely impacts their ability to comfortably chew into foods efficiently and comfortably. Putting too much pressure on gum tissues hurts, and so patients with dentures have to learn to eat softer foods only, as they can no longer adequately chew harder foods. Imagine no longer being able to eat foods such as steak, corn on the cob, and nuts. Dentures have been found to only have a 20-30% chewing capability of our natural teeth, so it’s a very realistic possibility that choosing dentures will mean having to compromise what you eat every day.

In addition, it has been shown that denture wearers have a reduction in their taste sensation. Foods do not taste the same as they did before, particularly salty and sweet tasting foods. This is because the upper denture has to cover the roof of the mouth to have adequate suction to stay in place, and many of our taste buds are located in the roof of our mouth.

2. Dentures Support Malnutrition

This is a topic that both dentists and patients do not consider the impact of, but is likely of far more importance than we give credit. As we learn more and more about the human body and how it operates, there is no doubt we are learning how critical our diet and our digestive system play a role in our health and well being.

We know dentures cause patients to limit their food choices, as was found in a 2011 study which found that denture wearers have to limit the foods they eat and because of that are at a significantly greater risk of malnutrition when compared to those with natural teeth. But let’s think about why this is.

People that wear dentures often find it difficult to chew foods such as meat, raw fruits and vegetables, and nuts. These foods are very nutritionally dense and are very filling because of their high fiber content. Avoiding those foods for comfort will negatively impact one’s nutritional needs.

Adversely, many denture patients will turn to softer foods to eat, such as pastas, canned soups, and mashed potatoes. These foods are highly processed and mostly void of any nutrients, thus further contributing to the malnutrition.

If chewing and digesting our food is our primary source of energy and nutrients, then how can we possibly want to have a denture that significantly impacts our ability to do this extremely important task?

3. Dentures Cause Bone Loss and Subsequent Facial Aging

Our jawbones are like muscles in a way. Stimulate them and they stay strong, but fail to provide a stimulus and they will shrink away. Our jawbones get naturally stimulated when chewing by forces being transferred from our teeth down into the roots of the teeth (dental implants also provide this same stimulation!). When you remove the teeth and replace them with a denture, the denture now sits on top of the gums and so the bone is no longer stimulated when chewing. This results in bone slowly shrinking year after year and contributing to looser and poorer fitting dentures as time goes on, but also affects the esthetics of the face.

The bone support from the jaw provides volume to the face. As bone shrinks away, the face begins to appear sunken in, resulting in an aging appearance. Our photos help illustrate a loss of support caused by many years of denture wear, and then after it is corrected for by properly designing a set of permanent teeth on dental implants.

4. Dentures Impact Speech and Confidence

Talking and communicating with others is something we all take for granted every day. The way we have learned to talk our entire lives is deep in our muscle memories. When a person loses their teeth and replaces them with dentures, they have to relearn how to speak. The extra plastic of the denture will cause words to sound different, and as the muscles of the mouth move when you talk, so will the denture. This can commonly cause clicking sounds or whistling sounds as you speak. Some can modify their speaking patterns to compensate for this, but may never learn how. Some have to worry about their teeth falling out of their mouth as they talk or laugh.

Self-confidence is so important in our mental well-being. We all want to look and feel good. A denture that moves around and can fall out of your mouth entirely can not make a person feel confident.

5. Dentures Are Uncomfortable

This one is really quite simple. The gums were designed to support and protect the teeth. That’s it. They were never created to support a large piece of plastic that rests on top of them for 16-20 hours per day, let alone to smash food up against them every few hours. It will cause discomfort. I have met hundreds, if not thousands, of people who can’t wear a denture for more than 2-3 hours before they have to remove them due to pain. This simply shouldn’t be an acceptable standard for humans to have to tolerate. We have the technology to make people’s mouths comfortable, even if they no longer have their teeth. You should not have to be in pain when eating or talking.

6. Dentures Must Be Removed At Night

This one is tough to imagine myself. It would be hard to remove your teeth before bed each night. Many are embarrassed to do this in front of their significant others, and instead elect to sleep with their dentures in. But this can lead to excess gum irritation, advanced bone loss under the denture, as well as bacterial and fungal infections underneath the denture.

As I stated earlier, we now have the ability and technology to replace teeth with high quality, high function replacements of your teeth that can correct all of these listed problems with dentures. You can learn more by visiting our pages about implant over dentures as well as All-On-Four dental implants.

If you’ve considering needing dentures or are already struggling with dentures, be sure to call and make an appointment for an examination. Dr. Hudson can let you know what options you may have to significantly improve not only your smile and chewing ability, but also your overall quality of life. Please call our office at (309) 699-5521 to schedule!

What Is a Dental Implant?

Implants are titanium cylinders designed to emulate a tooth root that are gently and precisely placed into the jawbone. Most patients report little to no discomfort after implant placement. After healing, the tooth, bridge, or denture can then be attached to the dental implant. The result is a implant tooth that is made to look and feel so natural that it will seem – to you and to others – like your natural tooth.

Why Do I Need a Dental Implant?

Living without one or more of your teeth can be painful and unhealthy. It can also destroy your confidence, and make you reluctant to smile or speak naturally. When a tooth is extracted or lost due to decay or injury, the bone that held the tooth in the jaw is no longer stimulated. When that happens, the bone stops growing and is resorbed into the body. The teeth surrounding the missing tooth begin to shift into the empty space, causing misalignment of neighboring teeth. This, in turn, leads to greater chances of tooth decay,gum disease, and TMJ problems.

Dental implants reverse this loss. As long as you have enough bone to support the implant post, it can be surgically inserted into the bone. Over the space of the next few months, the post will bond to the bone, effectively becoming a part of your body’s structure. The placement of the implant will stimulate the body to actually construct the bone cells necessary to bond to the implant. The result, if the implant is properly placed and your body responds as expected, is bone that is stronger and healthier than ever. The new tooth connected to the implant will then prevent shifting of the neighboring teeth

Benifits of Dental Implants
  • Appearance: Implants can be customized to match an exact shade and shape. They give you an improved smile that’s indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
  • Function: Due to their stable design and durable materials, implants come with no diet restrictions and allow you to speak normally.
  • Convenience: You can care for your dental implants like you would your natural teeth, unlike dentures that require special maintenance.
  • Comfort: Dentures can slip or fit improperly in the mouth, causing discomfort. Dental implants feel as comfortable as natural teeth.
  • Self-esteem: You’ll gain the confidence to smile in pictures again with dental implants, as people likely won’t even be able to tell you have them.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants in Peoria, IL depends on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of dental implants required to support your replacement teeth. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have a doctor examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, Dr. Hudson will recommend the treatment that is best for you. In general however, a dental implant replacing a single tooth will cost somewhere between $3,000-4,000.

Our office will work with your insurance coverage to see if dental implants will be covered. Like most elective procedures, dental implants are not covered by some dental insurance plans. Our office does offer Care Credit financing as well, which can help break up the expenses into affordable monthly payments. For patients needing dental implants who have no dental insurance, our office offers our EPDG Savings Plan, which can be used to get discounts on your dental implant treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Implants

Is the surgery to place a dental implant painful?
No, it is done in our office under local anesthesia, just the same way a filling is done. Once the anesthetic has taken effect, you shouldn’t feel a thing!

What about after surgery? Is it painful then?
You can expect some minor discomfort. It can be managed with over the counter NSAID medications such as ibuprofen. Our patients report very little discomfort following the procedure.

How long does it take to place an implant?
It depends on the number and location of implants, but most placements take an hour or less.

How long do I have to heal before I can get my teeth?
The entire process usually takes 2-4 months, depending on your treatment plan. More advanced cases can take longer. The first phase is the longest, where the implants have to heal and fuse to the bone (2-3 months). The final phase is the tooth replacements have to be fabricated (2-3 weeks) and then attached.

How long do dental implants last?
Once an implant has fused to the bone successfully, it should last many years if cared for properly. Many have been in place for 30 years or more!

What are the chances of implant failure?
Nationally, the success rate of implants averages around 95%. Our office has found our success rates to be around this number, albeit slightly higher. Implants can fail due to a number of reasons. An implant can simply be recognized by the body as foreign and not “take”, healing around the implant can occur with gum tissue instead of bone, or the implant can get infected. No matter the case, the implant is removed and the site allowed to heal. We can then place another implant once ready.

Does an implant require special care?
Implants require the same care that your natural teeth need. Scheduling regular check-ups and proper oral hygiene are the best ways to ensure your dental implant lasts a lifetime. Implants do not get cavities, but can be lost due to gum disease, so brushing and flossing them are just as important as your natural teeth.

Does smoking affect dental implants?
Dental implants in smokers are four times as likely to fail compared to implants in non-smokers. Dentists recommend that patients with dental implants avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.

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