Are you one of the millions of adults in the United States who is missing a tooth?
Tooth loss is prevalent across the country; however, it doesn't only happen to older people. Many young adults also lose their natural teeth due to gum disease and other factors. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, there may be options available to help restore your smile. One of these options is dental implant surgery.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root used to anchor dentures or bridges into place. It looks like a small screw with two parts: a titanium post and a crown-like cap called a healing abutment. The dentist places the posts into the jawbone, where they fuse together over time.
Once fused, the bone grows around the implant, creating new tissue that holds the prosthetic device securely in place. This process takes about three months, and after your implant procedure is complete, you'll be able to smile, chew and eat with confidence.
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many benefits associated with having dental implants placed. Some include:
Improved appearance. With proper care, dental implants will last as long as 20 years. They look more natural than traditional metal replacements because they blend seamlessly with surrounding tissues.
Better chewing ability. Because dental implants mimic the structure of real teeth, they improve your bite strength by allowing you to use all your muscles when biting down on food.
Increased self-confidence. People often feel better about themselves once they have healthy-looking smiles again. Having dental implants helps give you back some of what was lost through tooth decay or trauma.
There are other reasons to replace your missing tooth or teeth, as well. These include:
Protection of oral health. When you are missing a tooth, you're at risk for developing periodontal disease. Gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis can lead to serious complications if left untreated. By replacing your missing tooth with a dental implant, you protect yourself from future damage caused by poor oral hygiene practices.
Prevention of further tooth loss. Tooth loss increases your chances of experiencing additional tooth loss later in life. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants reduces the likelihood of needing another set of permanent teeth.
Improvements in speech and eating abilities. Having missing teeth makes speaking difficult and limits your ability to eat comfortably. An implant replaces the function of a single tooth so you won't experience any difficulties while talking or consuming foods.
Prevention of bone resorption. Bone resorption occurs naturally when we age, but it's accelerated when we lose teeth. As a result, bones begin to shrink, which causes facial features to change. Bone resorption leads to changes in the shape of the face.
Minimization of bite problems. Teeth don't always line up perfectly when one side of the mouth doesn't match the opposite side. For example, if you only have four upper front teeth, then your lower teeth might appear too large compared to your top teeth. To correct this problem, you need to align both sides of the jaws properly. However, without enough teeth present, you cannot do this effectively. Dental implants can help.
Lower risk of jaw issues. Jaw pain and TMJ disorders are common among those who suffer from tooth loss. While most cases resolve without treatment, others require surgical intervention. In addition, patients who have had multiple extractions are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Implant placement prevents this condition from occurring.
Reduced need for costly treatments. If you lose several teeth due to gum disease, it's possible that you may eventually need extensive procedures including bone grafts and sinus-lifts. However, these surgeries aren't necessary if you've replaced your missing teeth with dental implants.
More than 5 million dental implants are placed each year.
Dental implants have a 98% success rate.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
With proper oral hygiene care, your implant can last many years — in some cases, the rest of your natural life! We recommend that you brush at least twice daily using an electric toothbrush and floss every day. You should also visit our office regularly for professional cleanings and checkups. Your dentist will be able to tell you whether there is anything else you can do to improve your oral health.
How Do I Know if Implant Surgery Is Right For Me?
If you're considering getting dental implants, talk to us. We can evaluate whether you're a good candidate for the treatment based on several things, including your oral health and overall health. After that, we'll create your customized treatment plan for restoring your smile.
Can Dental Implants Be Combined With Other Cosmetic Dental Services?
Yes. Many people choose to combine cosmetic dentistry services to restore their smiles. Talk to us about your smile goals. Call us now to schedule your consultation.