In the US, an estimated 178 million people have at least one lost or missing tooth. Worse, 40 million individuals no longer have any of their natural, permanent teeth.
If you’re missing any of your pearly whites, you don’t have to, nor should you live your entire life without them. You have teeth replacement options, the longest-lasting of which are dental implants. Correctly placed and maintained, these medical devices can last up to 20 years or longer.
What exactly are dental implants, though? Why do most dentists (and patients) prefer them over traditional dentures?
This post will answer all these questions and more, so please make sure to read on!
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are permanent oral devices that replace the entire lost tooth structures. They have three parts: a titanium screw, a titanium abutment, and a dental prosthesis.
Titanium is the primary material used in dental implants because of its biocompatibility. It’s because of this feature that implants have a high resistance to corrosion.
In a dental implant, the titanium screw serves as a replacement for a lost tooth root. As such, the oral surgeon needs to surgically place this part into or above the jaw bone. Within the next several weeks, the jawbone (and gums) will grow and heal around the screw.
After this, your dental surgeon will fix the abutment onto the screw. The abutment is a post-like device that holds the prosthesis in place. The prosthesis is the artificial tooth designed to match your other teeth.
What Makes Implants the Ideal Teeth Replacement Option?
Dental implants and traditional dentures help to restore the functions of lost teeth. However, at the moment, implants are the only permanent teeth replacement options. Conventional dentures, after all, are temporary, fixed appliances.
The American College of Prosthodontists, in fact, recommends replacing dentures after five years. Dental implants, on the other hand, provide a permanent base for replacing lost teeth.
Also, implants provide you with new permanent teeth that look much like natural teeth. Again, that’s because of their integration with the jawbone and gums. This then gives them the appearance of being all-natural like.
In addition, today’s teeth replacement options are much more resistant to stain. For instance, as with porcelain veneers, you can also have porcelain-based tooth implants. Porcelain is an ideal choice because of its stain-resistant features.
Porcelain also reflects light in the same way that natural teeth do. That gives them an even more permanent-teeth-like appearance.
Traditional dentures, on the other hand, only feature a synthetic gum-colored acrylic base. In many cases, the artificial teeth are also bigger than their natural counterparts.
More Than Just Permanence
Many people choose dental implants for their looks and permanence. Indeed, these characteristics make them the best option for replacing missing teeth. They have many other benefits, though, including the following.
They Mimic the Functions of Natural Teeth
Nothing beats permanent teeth, so it’s still best to keep up with your regular dental checkups. If you’ve already lost a tooth, however, a dental implant can restore most of the functions of that lost tooth. These include giving your gums and jawbone the stimulation they need to stay healthy.
This stimulation comes from the pressure you place on the implant-supported prosthesis. For instance, whenever you bite down or chew, you’re putting some force on the tooth implant. This force then travels all the way to the implant’s screw component (the one that serves as a tooth root).
All these tiny movements stimulate the tissue that surrounds the entire implant. You can think of it as a gum and bone “workout.” This effect is an integral function of your natural teeth, one that only implants can mimic.
They Can Help Make New Bone
Keep in mind that bone loss is a common consequence of missing teeth. The longer the bone remains “unstimulated,” the more that it will resorb or break down. The good news, studies have found that tooth implants appear to trigger the growth of new bone.
Prevent Embarrassing “Slip” Accidents
Since traditional dentures are removable, they can become dislodged at times. This can be embarrassing, as the “slip” can happen while you’re speaking with someone.
This is a problem that you don’t have to worry about if you choose dental implants. With their secure placement, you won’t have to deal with suddenly falling teeth.
Can Help Reduce Food Avoidance Rate
Missing teeth and ill-fitting dentures can restrict your food choices. Unfortunately, having impaired oral functions can affect your nutritional intake.
For example, a study found that people with dentures have a high avoidance rate for food. The problem is, many of the items they avoided were nutritious food options. Because of this, their dietary quality suffered.
In a separate study, 29% of traditional denture wearers said they could only eat mashed food. 50% also reported avoiding many types of food. Women, in particular, reported reduced consumption of healthy fruits and veggies.
With stable and high-quality dental implants, you can prevent all these dietary issues. You can enjoy every meal and ensure that you meet your recommended dietary allowance.
Smile As You Used to With the Help of Dental Implants
Whether you’re missing one, several, or all of your teeth, dental implants can restore all of them for you. More than that, they can help make your gums and bone healthier. As an added benefit, they can help you regain your lost confidence due to missing teeth.
All these should be enough reason to go for implants when you need teeth replacement.
Do you need more help exploring your dental implant options? If so, then please know that we here at Gordon Dental Implants & Cosmetics can help you get your smile back. Feel free to get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to answer all your dentistry questions!