Restore Your Smile with Dental Implants
Close to 40% of adults have at least one missing tooth, so if you’re feeling self-conscious about the gap in your smile, don’t worry! Many people face the same issue. Thankfully dental technology has come a long way and modern dental implants are more attainable than ever.
Dental implants are a fantastic solution for individuals who are missing teeth or currently experiencing negative side-effects of dentures or bridges. A dental implant consists of a surgical-grade titanium post placed directly into the jawbone. From there your dentist will design a custom prosthetic tooth replacement to be placed onto this post, just like a crown.
The final result is a completely natural-looking tooth that you don’t need to worry about. Aside from the obvious advantages of increased confidence and improved appearance, dental implants offer a number of benefits.
Let’s take a look at 5 ways dental implants can improve your overall health and wellness.
1. Dental implants are the best permanent solution to tooth loss you can get.
Dental implants can last well over 25 years when oral hygiene is properly maintained and they are considered one of the truly permanent solutions to tooth loss.
When you have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, chances are you want the gaps to be permanently fixed. Unfortunately, many common solutions, like bridges or traditional dentures, are far from permanent. Either they need to be removed on a daily basis or, in the case of dental bridges, are only designed to last for five to 15 years.
While bridges, dentures, and implant-supported dentures are still very useful solutions, modern dental implants are simply the more durable, permanent fix.
2. Dental implants do not require any special care or maintenance.
While special care may be needed to maintain oral hygiene with bridges, dentures, and implant-supported dentures, dental implants don’t require any changes to your current daily routine.
Dental implants are essentially just like your natural teeth and are cared for the exact same way. You will need to continue regular brushing and flossing, but otherwise, there isn’t anything different that you need to do unless your dentist gives you specific instructions.
While an implant is a fake tooth and isn’t prone to the same decay issues as a natural tooth, that doesn’t mean you can get lax with your oral health. Infections are still a possibility so it’s vital you follow the care instructions given to you by your dentist when you first get your implant placed.
3. Patients with dental implants have a lower risk of developing periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a serious condition that can cause permanent damage. Generally, gum disease will occur when a patient isn’t properly caring for their dentures or bridges, but it can also be related to complications with a patient’s bridge or dentures, such as a poor fit.
When a patient isn’t following their dentist’s instructions for denture or bridge care, it’s easy for inflammation to occur, eventually leading to bacterial infections, bleeding, abscesses, and more. Improper fit is another reason periodontal disease may set in, such as from a patient’s dentures rubbing and irritating their gums.
Modern dental implants eliminate all of these risks, and periodontal disease relating to a dental implant is extremely rare.
4. Patients with dental implants have an improved quality of life.
Numerous studies show that patients who receive dental implants experience a higher quality of life.
When missing teeth are replaced with dental implants, individuals feel more confident and don’t experience the same level of self-consciousness while eating, drinking, speaking, laughing, and smiling. Compared to dentures or implant-supported dentures, many individuals do feel a greater sense of confidence with permanent dental implants.
Another important factor is how comfortable dental implants feel compared to other tooth replacement options. Since they are permanently installed within the bone structure of the jaw, chewing and speaking are effortless as there’s no worry about shifting, rubbing, or, in the case of traditional dentures, an implement coming loose.
Modern dental implants are also exceptionally realistic and natural in appearance. Patients missing very visible front teeth will not only love having a permanent replacement solution, but a replacement that others won’t be able to tell is a fake tooth.
5. Dental implants prevent dental drifting and bone loss.
When missing teeth aren’t replaced, something called dental drifting occurs. Dental drifting is the natural shifting of teeth neighboring the extraction site of a now missing tooth. Since these teeth don’t have the support of another tooth, they tend to move into the gap. This can lead to serious issues, such as bite misalignment and crooked teeth.
Another problem with not replacing missing teeth is bone loss occurring in the jaw and facial bones. Bone degeneration can occur rapidly after tooth loss and, in some cases, can’t be easily reversed. This bone loss can even affect your facial structure, causing a sunken-in appearance.
Since dental implants are planted into the root socket and directly into the jawbone, dental drifting isn’t possible and bone loss is prevented. While a bridge or traditional dentures may prevent dental drift, they don’t address the concern of bone loss like modern dental implants do.
Are dental implants right for you?
Dental implants are a viable option for the average adult or senior, although there are certain circumstances in which your dentist may advise against them. For example, while technology has come a long way and bone reconstruction is more widely available, patients with severe bone loss in their jaw may not be able to receive a dental implant.
The only way to know for certain if dental implants will work for you is to schedule a consultation with your dentist to learn about your options. Chances are high that you’ll be able to receive a dental implant, but even in the event you aren’t a candidate, your dentist will guide you towards the right solution.