For many years, there were two options available for patients who were missing teeth: bridges and dentures. These days, dental implants have become the preferred option for dentists and patients alike. While there are seemingly countless advantages in choosing implants over the alternatives, these four reasons are the most significant.
1. Dental Implants Replace the Root
Bridges and dentures can improve appearance and some of the function of missing teeth, but because they only replace the visible portion of the tooth, they’re not true replacements. Dental implants restore the tooth both above and below the gumline, which means not only do you benefit from improved aesthetics, you also prevent and reverse the loss of bone in the jaw.
Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jaw in place of roots. Without a tooth root or implant in place, the body receives the signal that the bone is no longer needed to support the missing tooth and it begins to break it down. This can cause a weakened bite and a prematurely aged appearance. By replacing the root of the missing tooth, we prevent this from happening.
2. Dental Implants Are Natural
By natural, we mean that dental implant restorations function just like your real teeth, with a root in the jawbone that serves as an anchor for a tooth. Dental implants provide a stable base of support for your restoration. While dentures have the potential to slip, fall out, irritate your gums, and make it difficult to eat and speak clearly, dental implants function just like your natural teeth.
Caring for dental implants is also much like taking care of your real teeth. Brush for two minutes twice a day, floss once a day, and go in for your regular dental exams and cleanings every six months.
3. Dental Implants Can Last a Lifetime
While the restorations that attach to dental implants may need eventual replacement, the dental implants themselves are designed to be a permanent solution for missing teeth and can last a lifetime. Dental implants have a very high rate of success once your jaw and implants have fused together through a process called osseointegration.
Unlike dentures which need frequent relining and adjustments, dental implants are stable and need little maintenance. Their long lifespan makes them well-worth the cost for most patients.
4. Dental Implants Are Better for Your Oral Health
By preventing bone loss, dental implants are also a superior option for your remaining teeth. When the jawbone begins to break down, other teeth can begin to shift in your mouth, a process that can cause serious dental issues. If you were to get a dental bridge to replace one or more missing teeth, crowns would be placed on adjacent teeth, which leaves them at higher risk for tooth decay.. Dental implants don’t compromise your healthy teeth, which makes them the best choice for your overall oral health.