Why You Should Consider Implant Dentistry
For many people, dental implants seem like a great idea but not something they could ever consider, mainly because of the cost involved. Because of this, there are a large number of people out there who are continuing to live their life with missing teeth. At best, there are some who have invested in bridges or partial dentures.
While bridges and partial dentures have their place, so do dental implants. In fact, a dental implant is much more practical than most people realize and can save you a bundle of money down the road.
As Close to Natural as You Can Get
One of the great things about dental implants is that they look and feel like natural teeth. Besides looking natural, most implants floss like natural teeth. Flossing can sometimes be tedious with a fixed bridge. You have to use a floss threader to thread the floss under the bridge in order to floss properly. Depending on how the bridge fits and the dexterity of the patient, this can be difficult. With an implant, though, you can floss on either side just like a normal tooth. The easier flossing is, the more likely someone is to do it on a regular basis.
Protect Your Other Teeth
Dental implants can protect the teeth in front, behind, and underneath them. If a tooth is lost and the space is not filled in, the teeth around that area begin to shift. This includes the opposing tooth or teeth.
The teeth fit together functionally. This means that the top teeth help keep the bottom teeth in their correct positions and vice versa. This is true, too, of the teeth within the same arch. When a tooth is missing, the teeth in front or behind will start to shift to close the gap.
Shifting teeth change occlusion, or the way the teeth come together when you bite. This can cause excess pressure on certain teeth, making them weak and prone to cracking and fracturing. When a tooth cracks it will need a crown. If a tooth fractures, it will either need a crown or, if the fracture is extensive enough, the tooth will need to be extracted. Improper occlusion can also contribute to jaw pain and headaches.
Dental implants keep the space filled and keep a patient’s bite ideal, protecting the other teeth.
Implants Protect Hard Tissue
When a patient loses a tooth, the bone that was supporting the tooth quickly begins to recede. This can put the surrounding teeth in danger of bone loss as well. Not only can bone loss lead to the loss of more teeth, but it can change the shape and contour of a person’s face.
A dental implant is placed within the bone and the bone actually grows around the implant screw, making the bone strong and secure. As long as the patient practices proper dental and implant hygiene, the bone and surrounding teeth will remain strong.
A Long-Term Solution
Implants are made to last a long time. Dentures and fixed bridges have a lifespan of five to ten years, possibly more with proper hygiene. Dental implants integrate with the jaw bone and are meant to last a lifetime. Again, this is dependent on proper hygiene and the body’s acceptance of the implant metal.
If you have missing teeth or are facing extractions, make sure to consider dental implants as an option. They may or may not be more expensive than other options depending on what your needs are. In the long run, a dental implant may be a money-saving investment. Talk to your dentist to find out if implants are right for you.