5 Benefits of Dental Implants
Do you have one or more missing teeth, but do not want the hassle of dentures or dental crowns? If so, you may be interested in learning about dental implants and their many benefits as a tooth replacement.
Dental implants are high-tech replacements for missing teeth, and are a popular alternative to dentures and dental crowns. Dental implants typically have a 3-piece design that includes:
- The implant, which is a screw-shaped post implanted into the jaw
- The prosthesis (tooth restoration) that can be a single crown, a bridge that holds several crowns, or a denture that replaces all or most of the teeth on the upper or lower jaw
- The abutment, which connects the implant to the tooth restoration
5 Amazing Advantages of Dental Implants
Because they look and function just like natural teeth, dental implants are increasingly popular. In fact, dentists place more than 5 million dental implants each year, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). This increase in popularity is likely due to the many benefits dental implants provide.
Dental implants look, feel and function like natural teeth
Made from high-quality materials, dental implants look just like natural teeth. Because they are implanted directly into your jaw, dental implants also feel and function like your natural teeth – no slipping, sliding, or falling out when you least expect it.
Implants last a lifetime
You can expect a dental bridge or dentures to last about 10 years. Dental implants, on the other hand, last a lifetime.
Made from one of the strongest metals on earth – titanium – the implant fuses with your jawbone. This process, known as osseointegration, creates a sturdy anchor that lasts forever. Titanium is non-toxic and biocompatible, which means your body won’t reject the implant.
The longevity of dental implants makes them a cost-effective choice when it comes to replacing teeth. While dental implants cost more than dentures or dental crowns, implants never need replacing.
Dental implants prevent bone loss
Your teeth and jawbone work together to keep each other healthy. Your jawbone holds your teeth securely in position, for example. Your teeth keep your jawbone healthy by stimulating bone growth: biting and chewing apply pressure to your teeth and push your roots into your jaw, and this triggers the formation of new bone tissue.
When you lose a tooth, you also lose the root that promotes bone growth, so you lose bone mass in the area of the lost tooth. In fact, the area can lose as much as 25 percent of its volume in the first year following the loss of a tooth, and continue to lose mass over time. Loss of mass in your jawbone can change the shape of your face. It can also affect the health of nearby teeth.
Because they ride on top of the gum, dentures and dental bridges cannot stimulate the regeneration of bone tissue. What’s more, dentures can actually accelerate bone loss by rubbing against the boney ridge.
Since the titanium post acts as an artificial tooth root implanted into the jaw, dental implants prevent bone loss by stimulating bone growth in your jaw.
Implants provide health and stability for nearby teeth
The loss of a tooth creates a gap – nearby teeth tend to drift crookedly into this gap. Pulling your teeth out of position like this can affect your bite, which is how your upper and lower teeth come together when you bite and chew. Changes to your bite can affect your ability to chew, and change the shape of your face. A poor bite can even lead to other conditions, such as jaw pain and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Gaps can also trap food and bacteria to create an environment that promotes tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental implants fill these gaps to hold adjacent teeth in place and reduce the risk for complications associated with missing teeth.
Dental implants are versatile and easy to care for
Implants can replace one or more missing teeth. Each titanium root can hold a dental crown to serve as a single tooth implant or as a bridge that replaces several teeth. A special type of permanent dentures, known as an all on four, replaces all the teeth on the upper or lower jaw with just four implants.
Caring for dental implants is easy – simply brush and floss as normal. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain healthy teeth and an appealing smile.
For more information about dental implants and their many benefits, consult with the Advanced Smile Professionals in Mentor, OH. At Great Lakes Dental, we provide the dental implants and other dental services to help keep your smile looking its best. Contact Great Lakes Dental for dental implants today.