Dental Implants: Look, Function, or Both?

young woman smiling at reflection in mirror

As far as options for replacing missing teeth go, the most holistic method of tooth replacement is dental implant surgery. Yes, it’s invasive; yes, it requires patience and healing time; yes, it may require preliminary dental bone grafting. But it’s worth it. Dental implants are the only permanent solution to tooth replacement that look and function like your normal teeth, and preserve the rest of your smile as well.

Most insurance companies will tell you dental implants are cosmetic. And they’re right – I think we can all agree a smile full of straight, white teeth is better than one filled (or not filled) with empty spaces and decaying teeth. But is that all dental implants really do? Short answer – no. Dentures? Yeah, those are pretty much just cosmetic. But dental implants are implants, meaning they interact with the bone tissue in your jaw. We’d argue all day that dental implant surgery is just as much as restorative oral surgery as it is cosmetic.

Let’s take a look at the cosmetic benefits as well as the health benefits of dental implant surgery:

Cosmetic Advantages of Dental Implant Surgery

  • Dental implant crowns are customizable, so they can be perfectly matched to your natural teeth.
  • You keep looking young and healthy. They’re also stain-resistant.
  • There’s no change of dislodging or slipping like with dental bridges, dentures or flippers.
  • Dental implants keep the rest of your teeth sat in place.
  • Ceramic dental implants eliminate the black line above teeth that is sometimes visible with tooth replacement.

Oral Health Advantages of Dental Implant Tooth Replacement

  • The process of dental bone grafting and dental implant surgery preserves and builds up the bone tissue in your jaw.
  • Your gums stay healthy because they still get the stimulation they would with a natural tooth in that spot.
  • Daily oral care is easy, and replacement teeth can’t decay or get cavities.
  • Dental implants stabilize the other teeth in your mouth.
  • Osseointegration makes this type of tooth replacement a permanent solution.

Some Advantages of Dental Implants Aren’t Quantifiable

Some things our insurance companies might not care about – but we definitely do – are the socio-emotional benefits of this type of mouth reconstruction. Dental implants allow you to speak, chew and smile naturally. Having a beautiful smile is important to self-esteem. And being able to talk and eat without worrying about your fake teeth slipping or falling out is important for quality of life. People who have attractive smiles are confident and smile more, helping them be successful in life and love.