What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. And because they don’t directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants do not compromise the health of your natural teeth. They can also allow a person who has lost a tooth or multiple teeth regain the ability to eat and smile. A single implant, full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.
Implant supported dentures are a great option for patients looking to restore their smile in a more secure and permanent way then regular dentures that only rest on top of the teeth and gums. This type of implant is typical for patients who don’t have any teeth in the jaw and is a permanent solution for some of your dental health challenges.
Do I Need Dental Implants?
Losing teeth makes it more difficult to eat and chew food, and over time the jaw bone can also recede due to disuse. It can cause a significant decrease in quality of life — 29% of denture wearers eat only soft or mashed foods and 50% avoid many foods altogether. However, replacing teeth as soon as they are lost keeps the mouth functioning correctly so you will, hopefully never have to mash your food! If you are missing one tooth or all of your teeth, implant dentistry might be right for you.
Why Is It Important to Replace Missing Teeth?
Replacement of missing teeth is essential to maintaining the bone in the jaw which, without teeth to keep it strong, can disintegrate over time. When a tooth is replaced as soon as possible after it is lost, the implant — which is made from titanium, just like hip and other joint replacements — replaces the root of the missing tooth. It is then used as an anchor to secure the replacement tooth or teeth without harming the healthy natural teeth that surround the space. This reduces the future risk of root canals and decay under crowns.
Consider your replacement teeth to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements the longer they will last.