Dental implants – a treatment option for missing teeth
Missing teeth can be a problematic dental issue. Why? Beyond the obvious aesthetic impact of the gap a missing tooth creates, missing teeth can also:
- Cause potential bite and jaw joint problems. This is because your remaining teeth will eventually shift to fill the space changing the natural alignment of your teeth.
- Create a “sunken face” look. As with all bones, resistance is what keeps your jawbone strong. Without the pressure that comes when a tooth chews against another, the jawbone underneath becomes reabsorbed causing your face to lose some of its structural support.
- Impact your chewing ability. Gaps left by missing teeth can make eating some foods more difficult. If you are missing several teeth, you may find yourself abandoning some foods.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is an appliance that’s used to replace the roots of a missing tooth or teeth. It’s essentially a titanium fixture that’s surgically placed in your jaw.
Through a process called osseointegration, your jawbone fuses to the implant. Once osseointegration is complete, an artificial tooth such as a dental crown or other dental restoration is attached to the implant.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants with artificial teeth are the closest you can get to re-growing your natural teeth. For most people they are strong, stable, durable and virtually undetectable. By filling gaps left by missing teeth, implants can provide better chewing ability and jaw joint stability.
Unlike dentures, dental implant restorations are fixed in place and do not come out. This may provide some advantages, such as:
- Greater comfort. Because they are fused to your jawbone, dental implants look and feel very much like your own natural teeth, eliminating the pain or discomfort caused by loose or ill fitting dentures.
- Improved appearance. By replacing missing teeth, dental implants can restore your natural smile.
- Clearer speech and easier eating. Dentures that do not fit well can slip or become loose making chewing more difficult and causing you to mumble or slur your words.
- Better oral health. Dental implants don’t require any alteration of your existing teeth. The more intact healthy teeth you have, the better your overall oral health generally is. Dental implants also make it easier to brush and floss between teeth.
- More convenience. Removable is the key word in the term removable dentures. Dental implants do away with the inconvenience of having to take your dentures out to clean them and the need for adhesives to keep them in place.
Are dental implants for you?
Dental implants can be considered the best tooth replacement treatment option in many cases. While they do require a bit of upfront commitment in terms of expense and healing time, the long-term benefits of dental implants very often outweigh the short-term cost.
If you would like to find out if dental implants are the best tooth replacement treatment option for you, please schedule a consultation.