What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a long-term solution for replacing failing or missing teeth. A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root. The vast majority of times made from titanium, a well-known element used in many fields of medicine. It is a fixture screw that the jawbone can connect to, designed to replace the root of a natural missing/failing tooth.
By replacing the missing/failing tooth root, it creates a strong and permanent foundation for a replacement tooth crown that is custom made by the Laboratory technician and fitted a few months after having had the implant inserted.
Dental implants are widely considered the number one choice to replace a tooth. There are various reasons why tooth loss may occur, including trauma, tooth decay, poor oral hygiene and gum disease being some of the reasons. It is very important that you replace a failing or a lost tooth, as the consequences of leaving a missing tooth gap unrestored can develop into more serious oral conditions as time goes on.
When are dental implants needed?
When you have a missing tooth, dental implants are more often than not the best option, particularly when you cannot or do not want to get tooth supported bridges or removable dentures.
If you lose a tooth and leave the missing tooth gap without replacing it, there will be many changes in your mouth over time as a result.
With time the missing tooth gap will allow for the other teeth around it to shift slowly and incline towards the gap. This, in turn, will change the whole dynamic of your teeth and mouth. Changes in your bite, also referred to as dental occlusion (the way your teeth come together), can result in misaligned teeth, deteriorating the straightness that once existed. It can result in problems in your jaw joints, also called the TMJ. On the other hand there will be further spaces in between your other remaining teeth leading to further food getting impacted after each meal and an increased risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
The aesthetic of dental implants are a huge benefit however, they also play an important role in the overall function of your mouth. Having a dental implant will support a healthy bite and allow each tooth to reside properly in its place while supporting a healthy jaw bone and preventing bone loss deterioration. When a tooth is removed from the mouth and not replaced, the whole jaw can go off balance and begin to deteriorate. This is because the pressure and stimulus of chewing on the natural teeth is what preserves the jawbone to begin with.
Having a missing tooth in your mouth can often make you feel self-conscious about how your smile looks and feels. Dental implants can help with that as they look and feel like normal teeth. Having a missing tooth replaced with an implant can allow you to eat comfortably, smile and laugh without pain or worry about your missing tooth (especially in public). Allow you to have your meals and socialize without having to be self-conscious of a missing tooth gap or a removable denture appliance.
Benefits of dental implants
There are several benefits to having a dental implant. As previously mentioned, a key benefit is that dental implants can help with your self-esteem. This is because dental implants look like natural teeth boosting your confidence while supporting your overall oral health.
Another benefit is that as dental implants act as natural tooth would, they sustain the health of your jaw and bite. Dental implants are durable and can also assist in supporting your speech and chewing abilities.
Dental implants do not have to be removed when you eat or when they are to be cleaned. In various ways, they act like a normal tooth would. Therefore, when you have a dental implant, you also treat it like you would all your other natural teeth.
One of the reasons why a lot of people choose dental implants these days is because they are a more permanent option, when compared to other fixed or removable appliances either being tooth bridges or acrylic dentures. As long as you care for your implant properly, they can last for many, many years...
If you think a dental implant may be a viable option for you, make sure to book an appointment with an experienced Implantologist dentist to discuss the options available to you. The dentist will help you decide whether a dental implant is a solution for you and design a treatment plan accordingly.