5 Reasons You Should Consider Dental Implants
Restoring Your Smile and Protecting Your Oral Health With Implants
Losing a tooth can be emotional, but it can also simply be jarring; not only does the empty space in your smile look and feel strange, but you may be surprised by how many daily tasks are suddenly a lot more awkward without your tooth. Eating and speaking can both suddenly become uncomfortable and awkward, and you may become self-conscious of your smile. Over time, losing a tooth can even have an impact on your long-term oral health in multiple ways, so replacing your missing tooth can restore your confidence in both the appearance and health of your smile.
Modern dentistry provides several tooth replacement options that can restore your smile, but dental implants are a unique method because of their ability to address the issues losing a tooth raises on a deeper level. Here are 5 reasons you should consider getting dental implants.
1. Dental implants look and feel just like natural teeth.
Your natural teeth are anchored in place by your tooth roots, which go deep into your jawbone, giving your teeth a natural strength and stability. Implants achieve this level of stability by being embedded directly into your jawbone, much like a tooth root is. Even better, the titanium metal of the implant encourages bone growth, so the bone of your jaw will grow around the implant, rooting it even more securely in place. This allows your implant to feel just as secure and natural as the rest of your teeth, so you can eat whatever you want without worrying about whether or not your implant can handle it.
Additionally, the fact that implants are rooted so deeply into your jaw and situated slightly under your gum line enables them to look incredibly natural. They’re capped with restorations made from porcelain, so your new tooth is carefully tinted to match the color of your natural teeth, and can be designed to your preferences regarding its size and shape. All of this allows your dental implant to blend in with your smile so well that it’s impossible to distinguish it from your natural teeth. The stability, comfort, and natural appearance that implants capture easily makes them the next best thing to having your natural tooth back.
2. They help prevent periodontitis.
When you lose a tooth, the rest of your teeth slowly begin shifting into the gap that your missing tooth leaves behind. Over time, this creates wider gaps between each of your teeth, making it easier for food to get trapped between them and harder to brush and floss your teeth effectively. This increases your chances of suffering from gum disease, including its most severe form, periodontitis. Filling the gap in your smile with a dental implant keeps your teeth from shifting into the gap, ensuring they stay where they belong and making it easier for you to brush and floss your teeth effectively, which in turn protects you from periodontitis.
3. Dental implants prevent further tooth loss.
If you don’t visit the dentist regularly, periodontitis can go unnoticed until it’s severe—and that’s very bad for your oral health because untreated periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in America. When you have periodontitis, the oral bacteria in your mouth have made their way beneath your gum line to begin attacking the supporting structures of your teeth. Since dental implants make it easier to care for the health of your teeth and gums, they also help prevent future tooth loss.
4. They prevent jawbone loss and stimulate bone growth.
The roots of your teeth provide constant stimulation to your jawbone when you bite down and chew, helping it stay healthy. Losing a tooth takes away this stimulation, so the jawbone where your missing tooth’s root used to be will begin to reabsorb over time. This loss of bone density can begin to change the shape of your face, making your jaw look sunken-in—especially if you’re missing more than one tooth. It’s this loss of bone density that gives denture-wearers their stereotypical caved-in jaws.
Other tooth replacement treatments simply can’t go beneath the surface and stimulate your jawbone, so while they can restore the appearance and function of your smile, they can’t prevent bone loss. Dental implants, however, can—and they’re the only treatment that can. While they do require a certain level of bone density to enable them to be embedded in your jaw in the first place, they can reverse bone loss to some extent because of titanium’s ability to encourage bone growth.
5. Dental implants provide long-lasting results.
While other tooth replacement options need to be replaced—bridges last around 15 years and dentures about five years—dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. You will need to replace the restoration capping your implant eventually due to wear and tear, but the implant itself will last for the rest of your life as long as you care for it properly. Implants can fail if you don’t take good care of them, however, so it’s important to commit to taking all of the necessary steps to care for them before you undergo the procedures.
Thankfully, dental implants are incredibly easy to maintain, requiring the same amount of care as your natural teeth. You need to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, use mouthwash and floss your teeth once a day, and visit your dentist for a preventive cleaning every six months. With this level of daily care, your dental implant should never need to be replaced, so you’ll only have to go through the procedure once.
Dental implants are capable of so much more than simply improving the appearance of your smile or even restoring the function of your teeth—they protect your long-term oral health, from keeping the rest of your teeth healthy to helping maintain the density and shape of your jawbone. If you’d like to learn more about the process of getting a dental implant and whether or not you’re a good candidate, feel free to call our office at any time.