If you’ve lost a permanent tooth and asked about replacing it, you were probably told that dental implants are your best solution. In fact, dental implants have been considered the “gold standard” solution for restorative dentistry (teeth replacement) for many years. While you may cringe at the upfront cost of dental implants, you’ll be happy to hear the many lifelong benefits you’ll gain as a return on your investment. If you have lost one or more teeth and need restorative dentistry, we’d like to explain why dental implants are rated the best.
The Problem Missing Teeth
When permanent teeth are absent, it undoubtedly creates problems that affect your oral health, your appearance and your quality of life. Missing teeth can compromise the look of your smile as well as make it more difficult to speak and eat. Over time, the adjacent teeth are likely to shift towards the open space. This makes cleaning more challenging and can lead to dental health problems such as decay and gum disease. Finally, missing teeth lead to bone loss in the jaw since the underlying bone is not getting properly stimulation with a tooth root. While it is not the only option in tooth replacement, dental implants are considered the most preferred by dentists across the country.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants require a minor surgical procedure that can help prevent bone loss from happening. A small biocompatible titanium screw acts as an artificial tooth root as it is placed in the empty tooth socket. After the implant heals and fuses to the surrounding bone (osseointegration), a porcelain crown can be placed on top of the implant post or abutment. These crowns look and feel like natural teeth. Not only will you be able to eat better, but your appearance will be improved as well.
Implants can be used in a few different ways. Single tooth implants replace one tooth and have a porcelain crown on top as the implant restoration. However, dental implants can also be used to replace multiple teeth. In cases of multi-tooth implants, the implant restoration can take the form of a bridge, partial or full denture. Implant supported dentures work can rely on a few dental implants to secure a full arch fixed denture in the lower or upper jaw. Unlike traditional dentures that can shift out of place easily, implant dentures can offer the same stability as your real teeth. Ultimately these prosthetic teeth are anchored to your jawbone, which means you can eat the foods you want and need for optimal well-being.
A Staggering Success Rate
Did you know that dental implants have a success rate of 98%? This extremely high satisfaction rate should help you feel at ease about your restorative dentistry investment. Dental implants are not only designed to be successful, but also to be a life-long solution for your missing teeth. While the crown or other restoration may need repair or replacement after several years, you shouldn’t have to replace the implant itself.
Don’t assume, however, that your implants will thrive on their own. While they do not require extra maintenance regimes or products, they do require proper care. In general, you can care for your implants just like your real teeth, but this includes daily brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist twice a year. Bacteria can still accumulate under and around your implants. If left alone, this can sabotage the success of the implant altogether.
Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Most patients make good candidates for dental implants. However, there are a few qualifications to keep in mind. At Grateful Dental, we ask that patients meet the following criteria (offered by Mayo Clinic) before getting dental implants:
- Have one or more missing teeth
- Have a jawbone that’s reached full growth
- Have adequate bone to secure the implants or are able to have a bone graft
- Have healthy oral tissues
- Don’t have health conditions that will affect bone healing
- Are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
- Want to improve your speech
- Are willing to commit several months to the process
- Don’t smoke tobacco
If you consider yourself a candidate for dental implants and want to learn more about what to expect, please call Grateful Dental. Our Marietta dental team can help you regain the confident smile you deserve after missing teeth!