You love steak more than anything, but your missing teeth make it hard to chew. In fact, you have a hard time enjoying a lot of foods. You’ve heard about dental implants as an option to replace your missing teeth, but you’re not sure if they’re right for you. Plus, you’ve heard they’re expensive. However, they offer a whole host of benefits that other tooth replacement methods do not. Let’s look at how to determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants, and the advantages they have over other options like bridges and dentures.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts that are surgically attached to the jawbone to function as the root of the missing tooth. Once they have been installed, your dentist will typically attach a restoration over them, such as a porcelain crown, so they will look like a completely natural tooth. They can be used to replace a single tooth, or even multiple teeth at once. After you have healed from the procedure, your implants will feel exactly like natural teeth. You might even forget they’re implants!
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
You may have heard that dental implants are expensive, and you would be right. However, they are definitely worth the investment. Here are some of the benefits of implants over bridges and dentures:
- Longevity. While bridges and dentures need to be replaced every few years, implants are designed to last decades. With regular brushing and flossing, your implants can even last your entire life.
- Convenience. Removable dentures can be a hassle. With implants, you eliminate the need for removing dentures and messy adhesives to keep them from moving around.
- Easier eating. Dentures sliding around in your mouth can make chewing annoying and difficult. Since dental implants are attached to your jawbone, they function just like natural teeth, so they make eating much easier.
- Jawbone stimulation. Implants are the only tooth replacement method that stimulate the jawbone in the same way a natural tooth root does. When you lose a tooth and your jawbone goes without stimulation, it can cause bone resorption. Your jawbone basically shrinks, giving your face a more sunken, older appearance. Dentures and bridges do not stimulate the jawbone, so while they may restore your smile and ability to chew, they don’t provide all the benefits that implants do.
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
Most people with missing teeth are good candidates for dental implants. They can be used to replace any number of missing teeth, so they’re great for almost everybody. However, there are a few conditions where the implant procedure might be risky:
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Uncontrolled gum disease
These factors can all increase the risk of infection and failure of the implant to integrate itself into the jawbone. However, the best thing to do if you’re unsure is to ask your dentist if dental implants are a good option for you.
About the Author
Dr. John Keadle is a pioneer in the field of dental implants. He has traveled to more than 25 countries to share his knowledge and acquire more knowledge of implant surgery and restoration. He is the Chief of Staff at New Smile Carolina, a practice dedicated to dental implants. To learn more about how he can use implants to improve your smile, click here or call (704)-639-1330.