It is needless to say that missing teeth can make you feel unnecessarily self-conscious about yourself and your self-esteem. Beyond dental aesthetics, missing teeth affect an individual’s chewing ability and even speech function. Dental implants offer both aesthetic and functional benefits.
For instance, replacing missing teeth prevents adjoining teeth from shifting, restores your speech function, and preserves your facial appearance. If you have missing teeth and you’re looking for a comfortable, functional, and natural-looking replacement option, then you’re in the right place.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a relatively new replacement solution for missing teeth. They’ve been around since the 1970s to serve as an alternative to removable dentures or dental bridges. They have a good track record of success, and they’re an extremely worthwhile investment for replacing missing teeth.
Types of Dental Implants?
Depending on the type and nature of the mouth condition, there are two major types of implants that you can choose from:
These are the most common types of implants. In this type, screws are placed to replace the tooth roots in order to hold the replacement tooth in place. Usually, the dentist conducts an initial examination to examine your condition and determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants.
This may be followed by bone grafting and administration of local anesthesia to numb the area so no pain will be experienced during the implant procedure. Small incisions are then made over the gum to create a space where a screw will be gently placed into the jaw bone. Then an endosteal (a metal dental implant post) is implanted deep into the bone.
This is followed by a growth process that takes about 2 to 6 months to form a solid base for a new tooth. In order to eliminate the gap created during the waiting period, a temporary denture may be used to hide the space created.
When the implant has taken hold, your dentist makes a second incision to expose the dental implant to attach an abutment. The gum tissue is closed around the abutment. In some cases, the abutment is attached directly to the post during the initial incision in order to avoid the need for another surgery.
After about two weeks, when the gums have completely healed, your dentist can make impressions to make the crown – the perfect artificial but natural-looking teeth.
These are usually recommended for patients who have an eroded jaw bone framework unable to support an endosteal post. So, instead of installing the implant directly into the jaw bone, a custom metal frame is first fitted over the jaw bone and beneath the gums for stabilization. A series of posts for the metal frame is then used to support the placement of tooth replacement options such as a dental crown or a bridge.
Why Choose Dental Implants for Missing Teeth
Dental implants are a good choice for replacing missing teeth for the following reasons:
Provides a Long-Lasting Solution
Dental implants are designed to last for a very long time. Because implants fit into your jaw bone, they do not slip off like dentures and can be considered one of the most permanent solutions available for replacing missing teeth. Additionally, when properly cared for, they are as durable as healthy natural teeth. So, if you’ve lost one or more teeth to decay or injury and you’re looking for a long-lasting solution that does not involve bridges or dentures, then an implant could be your best ally.
Preserves Adjacent Teeth
Not replacing a missing tooth comes with risks. For instance, when you don’t replace a missing tooth, you put yourself at risk of losing more teeth. Additionally, because the adjacent teeth start shifting towards the empty space, they’re prone to becoming crooked and may result in even more serious dental issues. Having an implant prevents these from happening and ensures the remaining teeth are preserved.
Stimulates Bone Regeneration
Missing teeth are usually characterized by progressive bone loss. A missing tooth results in shrinkage of the underlying bone. While common teeth replacement options such as dentures may restore a smile, they cannot prevent bone deterioration. Dental implants, on the other hand, replace some of your tooth roots so they can stimulate bone cells to make more bone and restore their function. Apart from aesthetic benefits, dental implants are excellent functional alternatives for missing teeth.
Improves Speech Function
Missing teeth may be the reason for certain speech problems, especially when it comes to the pronunciation of certain words. This worsens as a result of progressive bone loss and attending impact on self-esteem. Dentures solve this problem by addressing the root of the problem through bone regeneration, and hence improving speech function.
Ease To Care For
Dental implants are easier to care for compared to other teeth replacement options. With dentures, for instance, you have to be extremely careful because of their fragile nature. Also, they can make chewing difficult and may not be compatible with certain types of food. Because dental implants function just like natural teeth, they’re easy to maintain and do not have as many restrictions.