When it comes to replacing missing teeth, most patients have more than one option to choose from. Depending on how many teeth you are replacing, your smile can be restored with a bridge, partial, denture or dental implants. If you are looking for a gold standard solution, however, implant dentistry should be your top choice.
Compared to other restorative dentistry treatments, dental implants can best replicate your natural tooth in feel, function and appearance. While dental implants may carry a higher price tag and more time in the dental chair upfront, the return on your investment far outweighs the extra sacrifice. In fact, the benefits of dental implants involve improvements to your oral health, your self-confidence and your overall well-being.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants involve the surgical placement of a biocompatible titanium post that is placed into your jawbone. Over time, the implant fuses to the surrounding bone through a process called osseointegration. This creates an artificial tooth root to firmly secure your crown, bridge or denture above the gum line. No other form of tooth replacement offers this level of stabilization that is “rooted” in the jawbone just like a real tooth. Furthermore, you can expect your dental implant to last a lifetime with proper care – how’s that for a “return on your investment”?
The Advantages of Implant-Retained Dentures
While dental implants can be used to successfully replace a single missing tooth, their benefits really shine when they are used to anchor a full denture. With just a few dental implants, your implant dentist may be able to secure an entire arch of prosthetic teeth. Implant dentures may look similar to traditional dentures on the outside, but there is a distinct difference in the way they are held in place. Because implant-retained dentures rely on implants instead of adhesive creams to stay in place, they offer the following advantages:
Dietary Freedom. Unlike many traditional dentures, your implant dentures won’t become loose or unstable when eating hard-to-chew foods. This ensures you fuel your body with a diverse diet that includes meats and fibrous fruits and vegetables that are essential for optimal health as you age.
Improved Self-Confidence. Without the worry of your dentures slipping when you speak or laugh, you can enjoy priceless protection to your self-confidence – especially during social settings. This fosters improved emotional health after missing teeth.
Easy Maintenance. With implant-retained dentures, you won’t need denture cleaning tablets, messy adhesive creams or other extra products. Instead, you can care for them just like you would your real teeth! Simply maintain your daily brushing and flossing habits and see your dentist on a regular basis throughout the year.
Bone Loss Prevention. Missing teeth inevitably lead to bone loss within the jaw due to decreased or lack of stimulation. Dental implants, however, are the only way to prevent this since they are rooted in your jawbone and can mimic a biological tooth root. When preventing jawbone loss, dental implants are also helping you avoid premature facial aging from a sunken lower face.
Are You a Candidate for Implant Dentistry?
Most healthy patients qualify for dental implants, but there are a few primary stipulations to ensure you reap the 95% success rate that is associated with implant dentistry. First, it is important that you be in good overall health because healing is an important part of the process. Next, you’ll need to have enough bone in your jaw to support an implant. If your jawbone lacks density or height, you may need to undergo bone grafting prior to your implant surgery. Finally, smoking should be shut down for a certain period of time before and after your procedure. Smoking can greatly inhibit oral healing and cause your implant to fail.
Implants are placed in adults of all ages, regardless of whether there is one missing tooth or an absent arch of teeth. Children and teens who want dental implants must wait until their jawbone is finished growing, which is typically between the ages of 13 and 15 for girls and 16 and 18 for boys.
Schedule Your Consult at Grateful Dental
At Grateful Dental, we pursue excellence in implant dentistry. We recognize the remarkable benefits of choosing this form of tooth replacement and are committed to making the process as comfortable and rewarding as possible. To learn your candidacy for dental implants or to discuss your concerns regarding the procedure, please call our Marietta office today.