We all want to keep our natural teeth as long as possible. However, studies show that tooth loss is virtually inevitable as we age. By 50 years old, the average American has already lost 12 teeth, and more are almost certainly on their way out. Diets high in sugar, poor brushing techniques, bruxism and other problems can all attribute to tooth loss.
Unfortunately, losing one or more tooth significantly impacts your ability to bite and chew your food, and depending on where the gaps are, tooth loss can even interfere with correct pronunciation of certain letters. Let’s not also forget the psychological effect of tooth loss, which can cause embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, and even shame that can filter through both your personal and professional relationships. Many people with gaps in their smile actively avoid smiling or drawing attention to their mouth in any way.
Dental implants are the latest, highly innovative response to the problem of missing teeth. However, in addition to being a functional solution, many patients who are purely unhappy with the appearance of their teeth are choosing to replace natural teeth with implants in an entirely cosmetic-based procedure.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are individual prosthetic teeth that are custom-milled to fit securely into the gaps left by missing or extracted teeth. Each porcelain prosthetic is attached to a titanium post which has been inserted through the gum and into the jaw bone. Once in place, the bone heals around it, creating an ultra-secure anchor for the prosthetic tooth.
In addition to individual teeth, the prosthetics can also be attached to a dental bridge which is then secured on implant posts that have been pre-inserted into the jaw. In the cases of implant-supported bridges, these can usually be secured on fewer posts than prosthetic teeth.
Dental implants are extremely successful and secure, but they do rely on the patient having sufficient healthy bone in their jaw. If this is not the case, the implant could fail and come loose.
Benefits of choosing dental implants
Dental implants are now the premier choice of patients facing single or multiple tooth loss, and they are also more affordable and widely available than ever before. There are many reasons why patients are choosing dental implants over alternative tooth loss solutions.
The prosthetics used in dental implants are custom-designed specifically to match the shape and size of your other teeth. They can also be created in a variety of shades, enabling you to choose one which looks natural and attractive.
Dental implants are extremely secure. Once they are in place, you will not have to worry about them slipping around like many other solutions, such as dentures. This means that you can eat, drink, talk, laugh, sneeze, and even kiss without fearing that your tooth may come loose.
Titanium is one of the strongest materials currently used in dental restorations, and once fused to your jaw, creates a virtually unbreakable anchor for your implant. With the right care, your implants could last for decades.
Other tooth replacement solutions, such as dentures and bridges, can be uncomfortable to wear. However, once an implant is in place it quickly feels just like a natural tooth, so patients quickly forget that it is even there!
Better dental health
Although implants will never develop cavities, they still need to be brushed just like conventional teeth. Nevertheless, their design makes them easy to clean, as there are no devices to negotiate around or remove. This enables you to effectively brush and enjoy better dental health.
Dental implants are the most successful surgically-implanted device in the world, with more than 98% of cases being considered completely successful.
If you have gaps in your smile, or if you are considering dental implants for purely cosmetic reasons, our professional team would be happy to answer any of your questions. Contact Rippe Dental Associations today to schedule a consultation for dental implants.