The new standard of care for tooth replacement, dental implants have many advantages over traditional treatment options for missing teeth. Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. Titanium is used because of its strength and it is a biocompatible material readily accepted by the body. The bone believes the titanium implant is a true root and therefore fuses with it as if it were a natural tooth root. The results are the creation of a perfect anchor for a replacement tooth, or even a full set of replacement teeth. Dental implants are the permanent solution to missing teeth.
A missing tooth is a very obvious dental problem. Whenever you open your mouth to speak, or eat or smile, one can see the gap. It can be embarrassing, and affects a person’s confidence, quality of life, and overall health. Missing teeth compromise eating habits, speech and appearance. The condition also leads to bone loss in the jaw, the abnormal shifting of other teeth, as well as bite problems. Missing teeth cause the jaw bone to melt away, cause cheek bones to collapse inward and increase wrinkles – all which add to the look of premature aging, and decreased reasons to smile.
There are many advantages to dental implants, including:
- Improved appearance – Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
- Improved speech – With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
- Improved comfort – Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
- Easier eating – Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
- Improved self-esteem – Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
- Improved oral health – Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
- Durability – Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
- Convenience – Removable dentures are just that removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime.