Are Dental Implants Really the Best Tooth Replacement Option?
Here’s what makes dental implants such great restorations.
If you have experienced tooth loss, you might be curious about what options are available to you to fix your smile. The truth is that missing teeth (whether you’re missing one or have no teeth at all) don’t just affect your self-esteem.
The spaces left behind also affect your jawbone strength, chewing ability, and bite alignment over time. So ideally, you want tooth replacements that will give you a full, beautiful smile, preserve jawbone integrity, restore oral function, and prevent other teeth from shifting.
Only one restorative treatment checks all these boxes: dental implants. Here’s how they compare to other tooth replacement options.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a surgically placed post that functions as a tooth-root replacement and as the base for dental prosthesis. Titanium is typically the dental implant material of choice because of its strength and biocompatibility. A dental implant has three different parts: The post, the abutment, and the prosthesis.
First the dentist places the dental implant directly into the jawbone. This portion acts as the root of the new “tooth.” The implant post and jawbone fuse together over time, creating a permanent, stable bond. The abutment then connects to the implant post and sits above the gumline. Then there is the final prosthesis, which is the part that looks like the tooth.
Dental implants are extremely versatile. In fact, your Maryville dentist can replace teeth individually with single implants or replace entire arches using several implants and implant-supported dentures. Because the overlying crown, bridge, or denture is custom made to suit your unique smile goals and facial structure, your dental implants will look like natural teeth in size, shape, and color. With proper home care and regular preventive cleanings, dental implants can last a lifetime.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants have several unique advantages over other tooth replacement options. Not only are dental implants aesthetically pleasing, but they help improve your overall oral health.
One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is the way they stimulate the jawbone when you chew, which helps regenerate the bone tissue. This promotes healthy bone density and avoids that “sunken in” look that occurs when that lack of stimulation triggers bone resorption.
Additionally, dental implants don’t require the reduction of adjacent teeth, unlike dental bridges, which must anchor to the surrounding teeth. And since implants and their final prostheses don’t involve natural tooth structure at all, there is no need to worry about getting a cavity beneath an implant crown. When taken care of properly, a dental implant can last just as long as a normal tooth.
Finally, many people choose dental implants because they are permanent fixes, so there is no need to worry about anything slipping out of place as with removable dentures. They feel secure and look natural to give you a bright, confident smile.
Are there any alternatives to dental implants?
Dental implants aren’t the only tooth replacement option available from Compass Dental Group. One alternative is a dental bridge, which is essentially several crowns fused together—regular crowns on each end and the false crown (or crowns) in the middle. The teeth on either side of the space act as the anchor teeth.
Dental bridges are permanent and can replace one missing tooth or two or three missing teeth in a row. They require the same home care as the natural teeth, for the most part, except you will need to thread your floss beneath the bridge to keep the tissue clean and be sure to brush well at the gumline to avoid cavities.
Another option is a traditional denture, which is a removable prosthesis that sits over the gum tissue. A partial denture can replace multiple teeth and has clasps or rests that snap onto adjacent teeth for extra stability. Full dentures are those that replace entire arches, as in cases where the patient has no teeth remaining. New, well-fitting dentures rarely require adhesive, but they do not preserve the jawbone like tooth roots or dental implants, so even the best dentures will eventually loosen and need to be replaced.
Make an appointment with Compass Dental Group to learn more about your options.
Whether you are missing one or several teeth, you may feel self-conscious about your smile or want to improve your overall quality of life. Dental implants are a great restorative option for many people, but if you are on the fence about which tooth replacement option is best for you, make an appointment for a consultation with Compass Dental Group. We’ll evaluate your health history and current oral health to help you choose the option that’s best for your goals and lifestyle. Our team is ready to assist you and get you smiling again!