The Benefits of Dental Implants
Not only does a dental implant fill unsightly gaps in a smile, they are also important to deter bone loss which will occur when a tooth is lost. The titanium post fuses with the bone preventing it from dissolving.
Fixed bridges and removable dentures are not the perfect solution to missing teeth and often bring with them a number of other problems. They also provide only 10 to 15% of chewing power of your natural teeth, making it more difficult to enjoy many foods from your everyday diet.
When teeth are lost, the bone which held the roots of the teeth starts to dissolve, and so removable dentures — which use this bone for support — may slip or cause sores on the gums because the dentures will not be as stable.
Fixed bridges often require the preparation of adjacent healthy teeth. Decay, periodontal (gum) disease and other factors often doom fixed bridgework to early failure. For these reasons, fixed bridges and removable dentures usually need to be replaced every seven to 15 years, compared to an up to 25-year life span for dental implants.
Prevent bone loss
When a tooth is missing the bone in the jaw begins to deteriorate. This happens when the bone loses the required stimulation of the tooth root. The constant pressure of chewing actually helps to maintain jawbone density, and once a tooth is lost, the bone in the jaw is no longer getting that stimulation. Dental implants provide the jawbone with the proper stimulation for healthy bone preservation.
Natural-looking, feeling and functioning teeth
As soon as we place an implant, most patients are surprised that they can’t tell the difference between the implanted tooth and their natural teeth. Once it has integrated fully with the jawbone you can eat all your favorite foods with the same chewing power as natural teeth. Another benefit is that dental implants are easy to maintain, and brushing and flossing is as simple as cleaning your regular teeth.
While a bridge typically requires the grinding down, or “preparation,” of two adjacent teeth (often healthy teeth, too), dental implants are placed without damaging any of your other teeth. Most people choose to have a dental bridge versus implants because they want to avoid bone grafting or surgery. However, bridges are not nearly as reliable or conservative of your oral health and other teeth over long periods of time.
Dental implants are a permanent solution to replacing your missing teeth. Dental implants are made of titanium, which is a non-corrosive metal that is harmless to your body. However, dental implants still require regular hygiene care and you need to receive regular teeth cleanings.
Are you a candidate for dental implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant. Some people who have lost bone in their jaw can still get implants, but the bone must first be rebuilt using special bone-grafting procedures.
If your bone structure is adequate and bone-grafting is not required, the permanent dental implant, post and tooth restoration can be placed in one visit.
People who are currently wearing partial or full dentures can replace these with dental implants, or use implants to stabilize and secure the denture, making it much more comfortable.
People who are not good candidates for dental implants include:
- Young patients whose jawbones have not fully developed.
- Pregnant women
- People with existing medical conditions. If you can have routine dental treatment, you can generally have an implant placed. While precautions are advisable for certain conditions, patients with such chronic diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes are usually successful candidates for dental implant treatment.
- Patients who take certain medications such as steroids or drugs that suppress the immune system.
Experienced and knowledgeable implant dentistry
With modern technology and Dr. Dean’s expertise, practically anyone can take advantage of dental implants and replace their missing teeth permanently.