Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are considered one of the best solutions for missing teeth and are ideal for patients who are not good candidates for bridges or dentures. If you have missing, broken or decayed teeth, dental implants may be the perfect solution.
This innovative procedure involves positioning metal posts into the jawbone beneath the gums. Once in place, the dentist can mount replacement teeth directly onto them. If you’re considering implants, it’s helpful to know their many benefits. By understanding the advantages of this treatment, you can better decide if it’s the right option for you.
1. Look and perform like natural teeth
Because dentures are usually hooked onto adjacent teeth using metal clasps, they can often feel uncomfortable or move out of place. One of the biggest benefits of a dental implant is that it looks and feels just like a natural tooth. In fact, many patients can’t even tell the difference. The replacement tooth can restore full chewing power, allowing you to eat your favorite foods worry-free.
2. Very convenient
Unlike dentures that must be removed at the end of the day, a dental implant stays put, so you can brush and floss as you would your natural teeth. The implant can improve your overall appearance, comfort level, and self-esteem. These permanent devices eliminate the embarrassment and hassle of removing artificial teeth.
3. Can last a lifetime
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Although implants cost more than bridges or dentures, the investment is well worth it. That’s because on average, most dentures are replaced every 3-8 years. This is due to a number of factors such as general deterioration, and changes that occur in the wearer’s jaw. An implant, however, is made from titanium and can withstand wear-and-tear. It also fuses with the jawbone, essentially becoming a permanent fixture of your mouth.
4. Stabilizes adjacent teeth
When you have a missing tooth, the adjacent teeth can begin to shift crookedly towards the gap. This process will eventually pull your teeth out of position, affecting your bite and overall ability to chew properly. It can also cause changes in your facial appearance. Because dental implants don’t shift or wriggle, they can help stabilize neighboring teeth. This stabilization will prevent problems in your TMJ — the temporomandibular joint — which can cause intense pain and headaches.
5. Prevents bone loss
A missing tooth can lead to bone loss in the jaw, also known as resorption. That’s because there is no longer a root to stimulate the bone. In the first year alone, the jawbone can lose up to 25% of its volume. Conventional dentures are known to accelerate bone loss due to the added pressure on the bony ridges of the gums, gradually wearing the bone away. Dental implants replace the root as well as the tooth, offering the necessary stimulation to maintain natural bone growth.
6. Prevents facial sagging
Bone resorption due to missing teeth can cause the lower third of the face to collapse, tightening the distance between the tip of the nose and the chin. This “sunken” facial appearance will eventually make you look older due to excess wrinkles around the mouth, a more pointed chin and thinning lips from a lack of lip support. Dental implants can prevent facial sagging by filling in the gaps left by missing teeth and preventing bone loss.
Am I a good candidate?
The best way to determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants is to visit your dentist for a consultation. They will assess your dental implant needs and determine if you are a good candidate. In order for implant treatment to be successful, there has to be enough bone and healthy gum to support the implants. Your dentist will be able to tell if dental implants are the right solution for you and suggest alternatives if necessary.
Dental implant patients must also commit to keeping them clean and healthy. If you’re qualified for this treatment, you must be diligent about your oral hygiene routine. Regular check-ups and cleanings are also critical to the long-term success of dental implants. Although they may be more costly than traditional dentures, the investment in your oral (and overall!) health is well worth it.