It is not unusual to hear dental implants being referred to as removable or fixed. Even then, it is important to underscore the fact that a dental implant is not equal to tooth replacement. In fact, it is a small titanium post that a dentist places in the bone so that it serves the same function as the natural root of your tooth. Thus, implants act as new permanent roots. Consequently, replacement teeth are held in place by the implants. The artificial teeth may be removed or fixed permanently on the implants. So, why then are the terms removable and permanent implants used?
Fixed prostheses are designed digitally and milled using zirconia that is considered the hardest material in the dentistry world resembling a tooth. This usually goes beyond looking like a real tooth to feeling and functioning like natural teeth. Thus, you can clean then just as you do with natural teeth with fluoride toothpaste. This is also the highest option possible when it comes to replacing damaged or missing teeth. On the other hand, the removable option is specially designed to snap off and on your dental implants. This is preferred to traditional dentures that have no implants to hold them hence require adhesives to stay in place.
A number of factors usually determine the choice of treatment between removable dental implants and fixed dental implants. They include the following:
- Number of missing teeth – Removable vs. permanent teeth is given as an option when you are missing all teeth in the lower or upper jaw. Thus, when you are missing just a few teeth, there is no point of getting an implant as well as a removable set of teeth to go with it. If you are missing just few teeth, a removable denture can be made that will be supported by natural teeth without bearing dental costs of getting dental implants. Therefore, if you are missing a single or several teeth, the dentist could actually talk you into a non-removable solution for the teeth that are missing.
- Patient preference– Although removable teeth are just as functional and comfortable as natural teeth, there is a subtle emotional difference that makes most people to psychologically prefer the permanent solution. Besides, patients who have dentures already are comfortable having removable option. Actually, all they want is a set of teeth they can eat or chew with. While the two types are aesthetic and natural, the fixed dental implants are much better in resemblance and functional.
- Soft tissue and bone support– The area where the teeth are placed in order to function properly without interfering with aesthetics and health is an important determiner of whether you will have fixed or removable dental implants. Generally, permanent teeth require a great bone surface as well as soft tissues because implants need to be placed precisely in line with your teeth. If most of your soft tissues and bone is missing then they must be rebuilt before the implants can be placed. This usually increased the cost of treatment.
- Ability to clean and Maintain– Removable teeth are easy to not only maintain but also clean. That is, it is simple and easy to remove and brush them making access during cleaning easy. On the contrary, the permanent teeth require more than brushing to include flossing as well as using waterpik. If you are not convinced that you can take good care of your teeth then you need to go for removable options.
- Costs– Permanent dental implants are removable dental implants that are made differently. While removable teeth are mainly acrylic in nature without a base, permanent teeth on the other hand have bridges or crowns and are made using a combination of gold and porcelain. Therefore, you can opt for an option that suits your budget best.
Taking speech into consideration – This is perhaps one of the important factors to consider when choosing between permanent and removable implants. Teeth are an important aspect of oral function hence you need to be comfortable speaking with your new additions. Although many people think that permanent teeth are better owing to their close resemblance with natural teeth, the difference is not as big. The most important thing it to ensure that the teeth fit in the area they are designed to fit perfectly.
In summary, the choice of removable dental implants and permanent dental implants is based on various factors such as those discussed above