What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a popular choice because it is similar to a natural tooth. It is a replacement tooth that looks and acts just like the real thing because it has the same structure as natural teeth. Dental implants have a titanium “root” that is snugly inserted into the bone and is used to support a crown, bridge or denture. Best of all, it looks, feels and acts like a real tooth and can last a lifetime if properly cared for.
Dental implants have become the state-of-the art solution because it is far and away superior to previous treatments. This dental innovation helps most patients live a better and healthier lives.
Who are candidates for Dental Implants?
Individuals that have one or more missing teeth, broken or decayed teeth that are not able to be repaired can benefit from dental implant technology. Those that are not comfortable with dentures, partial denture or a bridge would be a good candidate for dental implants
Here is the good news, in the past, patients with insufficient bone or who had certain health conditions or habits were not considered candidates for implants. Advances in diagnostics and bone reconstruction have made it so that most patients can receive implants.
Benefits and advantages of Dental Implants
Dental Implants work like natural teeth
When it comes to chewing – dental implants act the same as natural teeth! Most patients can’t tell the difference between their natural teeth and the implant tooth. They can eat with it completely normally, and they can brush and floss normally as well.
Dental Implants can last a lifetime
Did you know, a dental bridge may only last around 10 years or so? Dental implants can last a lifetime! The implant is made from titanium and integrates with the jawbone. It’s also bio-compatible, meaning that it’s non-toxic and will not rejected by the body. All-in-all it makes a powerful replacement tooth.
Dental Implants prevent bone loss
Where there is no tooth the jawbone in the empty space begins to deteriorate due to lack of stimulation. If no implant is placed in the first year of losing a tooth, that bone area loses 25% of its volume, and bone loss continues over the years.
Dentures can even accelerate bone loss as they often become loose, and then rub against the bony ridge, gradually wearing it away. Because an implant replaces the root as well as the tooth, and chewing is restored to normal, it provides the needed stimulation for natural bone growth.
Dental Implants stop adjacent teeth from shifting
When you have a gap from a missing tooth it can cause your adjacent teeth to shift and can affect your bite and appearance. This can cause an alignment and therefore harm your ability to chew and function. It can cause dental problems that makes tooth replacement more difficult later. To top it all off a poor bite can also lead to issues with your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and may result in pain and headaches.
Dental Implants can help keep you free of gum disease
A missing tooth gap can act as a trap for food and bacteria and can lead to gum disease.
Dental Implants can prevent facial sagging and premature aging
This can also affect your appearance. Facial sagging can occur and be an unwanted effect of bone loss resulting from missing teeth. This is where the lower third of the face starts to collapse, gradually closing the distance between the tip of the nose and the chin. Changes can include excess wrinkles around the mouth, thinning lips and a more pointed chin, making the person look a lot older than his or her true age.
Dental Implants vs. Dentures
Stable teeth coupled with a strong bite!
Dental implants provide a superior solution when compared to dentures alone. This occurs because dentures do not prevent bone loss and therefore will begin to slip and become uncomfortable over time.
Dental implants provide a far superior experience compared to dentures. Even dentures that originally fit the patient well begin to slip and become uncomfortable after a while, due to increasing bone loss.
It’s difficult to keep any denture continually stable due to wear on the bony ridges that dentures clasp onto. The most frustrating aspect of dentures, and the unhealthiest, is their poor chewing ability. many people also have to limit their diets because they are unable to chew certain foods with their dentures.
If you are deciding between traditional dentures or an implant-supported restoration, here are some things to consider.