Tooth loss and dental implant
If you have lost one or more teeth, as millions of people have, you may be quite familiar with the unpleasant consequences. It affects your ability to chew, and can limit your dietary options. It can impact your appearance, along with your social and professional life. And the related pain and inconvenience can limit your lifestyle.
Conventional dentistry provides replacements for missing teeth using bridges, removable partial dentures or full dentures. However, each of these treatment options can cause a new set of potential problems.
Partial dentures and full dentures are unnatural, and are difficult to attach securely, making them likely to slip or even fall out. They are often uncomfortable and can be very unstable, resulting in difficulty with speech and eating. All of these effects can lead to a lack of confidence and a desire to avoid many activities and social situations. In addition, none of these traditional solutions address the problem of bone loss.
Advantages of Dental Implants
A dental implant can be used to replace a single tooth, a few teeth or all the teeth on one or both arches of your mouth. Whether you’re replacing a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants have numerous advantages:
- Implants are fixed in place and do not move. Therefore, there is no slipping or clicking as with dentures.
- Implant-supported teeth are the closest thing possible to natural teeth. They look, feel and function just like your natural teeth.
- Dental implants allow you to eat all the foods you like, just as with natural teeth.
- Dental implants have proven to be reliable, with a 95% or higher success rate. The success of dental implants is supported by decades of clinical experience and hundreds of thousands of satisfied patients.
- Dental implants and your new teeth can be placed without impacting other healthy teeth. This is not true with traditional bridges, which require filing down of healthy adjacent teeth to support the bridge. These filed down teeth often fail, requiring more and expensive dental work.
- Unlike bridges or dentures, dental implants are placed into and fuse with the bone in your jaws. This not only provides stability, but also prevents bone loss and atrophy that normally results from missing teeth.
- Dental implants provide a long-term solution to your dental problems, often lasting a lifetime. Traditional bridges usually must be replaced, often within few years.
- With dental implants, you avoid the potential pain and embarrassment of dentures. There is no fear of slipping or falling out, no need to avoid activities, no need to restrict what or how you eat, no wire in your mouth, no plastic on the roof of your mouth. Many people with dental implants say they just live better than they did when they had dentures.
Implants prevent bone deterioration
Natural teeth preserve the jawbone in which they grow. When a tooth is lost, the bone around the missing tooth begins to deteriorate. The process is called atrophy, or bone loss. Over time, this can lead in the loss of other teeth, and the overall deterioration of your dental health.
When many or all your teeth are missing, your jawbone can deteriorate significantly, resulting in a facial features that look “sunken.” People with dentures often look older and less attractive because of this bone loss. Conventional bridges and dentures do not prevent the problem of loss of bone in the area where teeth are missing.
Dental implants help prevent the problems of bone loss by promoting healthy bone in your jaw. Dental implants are anchored into the jawbone and do not rely on surrounding teeth, so they act much like natural teeth. When a missing tooth is replaced by a dental implant, the fusion (or osseointegration) of the implant and bone provides stability, just as the natural tooth did. When missing all of your teeth, dental implants stimulate the bone, protect against atrophy and help preserve your natural facial features.