If you're one of the millions of people who are dealing with severe tooth decay or tooth loss, dental implants may be a perfect solution. Dental implants are artificial metal tooth roots, similar to screws that are placed in the jawbone to act as a base to hold a crown made to match your other teeth. Implants have many advantages over dentures and bridges.
Implants Behave Like Your Natural Teeth
One of the biggest advantages of implants is that they behave like natural teeth, and many patients can't feel a difference between the implant and their natural teeth, during day-to-day activities like eating and brushing. Since the crowns placed on implants are custom-made, others won't be able to tell the tooth isn't natural when you smile or talk.
Implants Improve Your Appearance
Implants improve your appearance by filling in gaps where you have missing teeth. You also won't have to deal with messy denture adhesives or worry about the visible metal clasps on partials.
Leaving a space where you're missing a tooth can create serious jawbone problems that make you look much older than you are. This happens because, when your teeth are severely decayed or missing, there isn't anything to "tell" the jawbone to stay strong to support your teeth. The bone then begins to deteriorate and your facial structure changes with it -- the bottom third of the face folds in along with the lips and the chin recedes.
Dental implants eliminate this risk and keep the jaw strong, helping to prevent bone loss and improving your overall oral health.
Implants Are Durable and Convenient
Dental implants are extremely durable. You won't have to worry about eating certain foods that are difficult to chew with dentures, such as fresh fruits, tough meats, nuts and nut butters, gum, and crusty bread.
Unlike bridges, which typically need to be replaced every 10 years, implants can last for the rest of your life, because the titanium implant actually grows into the natural bone of your jaw as a permanent part of your mouth.
Implants are also extremely easy to take care of. You simply need to brush and floss the way you would with your natural teeth. It's also important to see your dentist for regular checkups and routine cleaning.
While dental implants are a good solution to tooth loss for many patients, they aren't suitable for everyone. Patients who have gum or jaw problems, such as bone loss, are more likely to have complications or implant failure. Talk to your dentist about any questions and concerns you have to determine if dental implants are right for you.