Tooth loss is an issue that is currently being faced by over 120 million Americans according to the American College of Prosthodontists. While it might be easy to think that a few missing teeth are just a cosmetic issue, it can actually be very damaging to a person’s oral and overall health, which is why they should be replaced as soon as possible. There are a multitude of ways to do this, but the one preferred by most dentists and patients involves dental implants. Why is this the case? What are they, and could they be right for your smile? Today, we discuss what is fast becoming the most popular tooth replacement solution available today.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are truly unique because they do something no other treatment can: they replace your entire tooth. A small, titanium post is inserted into the jawbone in order to recreate the root structure of a lost tooth, and this can then be used to support any number of replacement teeth. Most other tooth replacements only restore the crown, or visible part of your tooth. Dental implants, however, restore both the root and the crown. Why does this matter?
Other than filling in the gap in your smile, this new root also provides essential support for your jaw. The jaw relies on the teeth roots in order to maintain its strength and shape, and without them, it naturally starts to degenerate. This can cause a multitude of problems, such as making the remaining teeth shift out of place, and it can even give the face that sunken, sallow appearance we’re all familiar with.
While other treatments might look great, they can only prevent some of these issues and not all. As the jaw continues to shrink, they will need to be replaced multiple times because they haven’t completely rebuilt the tooth. When it comes to solving the problem of missing teeth, dental implants are the only comprehensive solution.
The Advantages of Dental Implants
Compared to other tooth replacements like bridges and dentures, dental implants have a number of unique benefits that make them a better long-term solution:
- Strength: With implants, because the new teeth are anchored into the jaw just like natural ones, they have the same security as well, which enhances a patient’s ability to both speak and eat comfortably.
- Appearance: With other treatments, it’s very easy to see the prosthetic, and this can make many patients feel self-conscious. However, with dental implants, because your new teeth have the same structure as your other ones, they blend in seamlessly. They are usually topped with all-porcelain restorations that are practically indistinguishable from real teeth.
- Longevity: Bridges and dentures typically need to be replaced every 5-7 years, while dental implants have consistently been shown to last for 30 or more.
- Jawbone Retention: One of the biggest risks of tooth loss is the bone degeneration we mentioned earlier, and dental implants are the only tooth replacement that can stop and even prevent it from happening.
Are They Right For You?
Thanks to advances in dentistry, dental implants are now able to help a wide variety of people with varying degrees of tooth loss. With them, a patient can get their smile back and not have to worry about their teeth day to day, which is wonderful for peace of mind.
If you believe dental implants could be exactly what your smile needs, simply contact a periodontist in your area. A periodontist is a dental specialist that focuses on the gums and bone surrounding the teeth, which are an essential factor in knowing whether you are a good candidate for them or not. From there, they can walk you through the process of getting implants, and after that, your smile will be complete again.
About the Author
Dr. Karl Lackler is a periodontist based in Colorado Springs, CO. He currently practices at Rocky Mountain Periodontal Specialists, and he has used dental implants to literally rebuild thousands of patients’ smiles. To learn more about everything you’ve just read, he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (719) 574-4867.