Living with missing teeth is no fun. It can make it difficult to enjoy your favorite foods, can impact the way you speak, and can make you feel less confident about the appearance of your smile. But living without one or more teeth can be worse than you may think. Even if you’re missing just a single tooth, over time the other teeth inside the mouth will shift their positions in an effort to fill in the gap left behind by a missing tooth. This can result in uneven wear of those teeth and can even throw your bite off. Those are just a few of the reasons why you should talk to your dentist about the best way to replace your missing teeth as soon as possible. One of the most popular methods is with dental implants. If you’ve heard about this dental technology but want to know more, we’ve written this article for you! Read on to find out the real truth about dental implants and to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for this tooth-replacement method.
What Exactly is a Dental Implant?
Some of the Advantages of Dental Implants
There are many good reasons why implants have become so popular with both patients and dentists alike. What follows are some of the many advantages of this dental technology:
- Dental implants are stronger than other tooth replacement options. Some people choose to replace missing teeth with either dentures or bridges. And while there’s no doubt that these are good choices for some patients, they can’t compare to dental implants when it comes to strength. In fact, because the implant is fused to the jawbone – creating what is essentially an artificial tooth root – a dental implant is almost as strong as any natural tooth. That means that the biting force provided by one or more dental implants is very similar to natural teeth, allowing the patient to enjoy whatever foods they like. Compare this strength with dentures, for example (which typically only allow between 25 and 50 percent of the biting force of natural teeth), and you can see why so many people rave about their dental implants!
- Dental implants not only restore the patient’s good oral health; they also improve overall health. We mentioned earlier some of the reasons why it’s so important to replace missing teeth. One of the most compelling is the fact that it’s so hard to chew food adequately without a full set of healthy teeth. This means that people who are missing teeth are limited in the foods they can eat, which can often prevent them from enjoying a healthy diet. And it’s common for these patients to have problems adequately chewing the foods they do eat, often resulting in gastrointestinal issues. In fact, health experts tell us that people who live without a full set of teeth are at a higher risk of living fewer years than people with fully functional teeth. Implants are an excellent way to not only enjoy a healthy diet, but can ultimately extend the patient’s lifespan.
- Dental implants can help to preserve the density of the jawbone. People who have lived without teeth for a period of time often experience changes in their jawbones. The bone tissue needs to be stimulated in order to maintain its density – a function that is normally provided by the roots of natural teeth. But when those teeth are missing, the jawbone density is compromised. Ultimately, the jaw begins to change shape and can make it difficult for people to wear dentures and other dental prosthetics. Because dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, they stimulate the bone tissue and preserve it. So people with implants are not only enjoying the benefits of replacement teeth; they are also preserving the density of their jawbones.
- Dental implants don’t move inside the mouth. Other tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges, sit on top of the gum tissue. As a result, they have a tendency to shift and move around inside the wearer’s mouth. This can make it difficult to eat certain foods and can make it challenging for the person to speak clearly in some instances. This is why so many denture wearers use over-the-counter adhesives to hold their dentures in place. Unfortunately, even that doesn’t always prevent them from slipping inside the mouth. Implants, on the other hand, don’t move at all because they are permanently attached to the jawbone of the patient.
- Dental implant surgery has an extremely high success rate. Any type of surgery has a certain success rate, and that includes oral surgery. Although the entire dental implant procedure takes several months to complete, the success rate is typically about 98 percent. That is remarkably high for any type of procedure! What that means for the patients is that they can feel confident that their implant surgery will go smoothly and predictably.
By now, it should be obvious why dental implants have become so commonplace. This amazing tooth replacement technology allows patients with one or more missing teeth to enjoy all the benefits of a fully functional set of teeth. Of course, only your dentist can tell you for sure whether or not an implant is the right choice for you. While most patients are good candidates for the procedure, those with inadequate bone density may require a bone graft prior to getting an implant. So what is the real truth about dental implants? It’s simply this: implants are an excellent example of remarkable dental technology that can improve the lives of dental patients! To find out more, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.