Are you missing teeth? Are you getting a tooth extraction and need a tooth replacement? It happens to the best of us, whether it’s a result of age, tooth decay, or accidental facial trauma. But what you don’t want to do with a missing, damaged or infected tooth is ignore it. This can lead to disintegration of your jawbone structure and cause problems with your other teeth — it can even cause you to lose more teeth!
There are a variety of options for tooth replacement, depending on your budget: dental implants, partial dentures, fixed bridges, or a flipper — a partial denture that has the ability to flip in and out of its position. Dental implants are the most expensive, but they are by far the best option — they look and function essentially the same as your natural tooth. Here’s why dental implants are your best option for tooth replacement:
First, What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium or zirconia posts that are surgically implanted into your jaw to serve as tooth roots. Titanium dental implants are the most common option, as your jaw bone will readily fuse to the titanium post’s surface. But a new option, typically used for people who are allergic to metals, is zirconia dental implants. Zirconia is technically a ceramic, so it’s a more holistic tooth replacement, and it has great biocompatibility.
Initially, these artificial roots are installed during a short oral surgery. Then there is a healing process as the bone fuses to the root. After everything is healed, the oral surgeon can attach the new tooth. The end result is fully functional, permanent teeth. Aftercare for the installation of a dental implant is the same as care for your natural teeth: good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist.
A single dental implant can be used for one missing tooth, but if you are missing several teeth next to each other, you can get an implant bridge. A dental implant bridge is a row of several artificial teeth affixed to two dental implants on either side that hold it in place. Feasibly, if the health of your jawbone is good enough, an oral or maxillofacial surgeon can use dental implants for issues as extensive as a full mouth reconstruction. But it’s true that dental implants are your most expensive solution. The trade-off is that they’re permanent and function just like natural teeth.
Dental Implants Look and Function just like Natural Teeth
The beauty of dental implants is their appearance — they look just like your natural teeth. Your oral surgeon or dentist will work with you to find a shade of implant that matches your surrounding teeth so that the implant is essentially unnoticeable. No one will be able to tell which are your natural teeth and which are dental implants.
Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
As we said earlier, you shouldn’t ignore a missing tooth, because it can lead to bone loss. This is caused by a lack of the structural support your jawbone used to get from your tooth that’s now missing. There’s now nothing preventing the bone from deteriorating in that area. Because they are a permanent installation that literally replace the tooth and its root, dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that also replaces that jaw bone stimulation — preventing bone loss and additional jaw problems overtime.
Dental Implants Fully Restore the Force of Your Bite
Dental implants are strongly anchored into your jaw, just like your natural teeth. This allows you to chew with the same force you had with your natural teeth. Other options for tooth replacement don’t always restore the full strength of your bite because they sit in or on top of the gums and aren’t anchored in place as well or at all. Dental implants essentially function as well as your original teeth.
No Cavities with Dental Implants
Dental implants don’t completely give you a pass on oral health — you’ll still need to brush and floss to prevent bacteria from building up in your mouth and causing infections. But because dental implants are artificial they don’t technically get cavities.
Dental Implants Are Permanent
The beauty of dental implants is they are a permanent solution to tooth replacement. Other options to replace missing teeth will need to be repaired or replaced over time, but dental implants are for life. And because dental implants are permanent and include a replacement root, your mouth and teeth won’t move around or deteriorate.
Dental Implants: Easy Care and Natural Speech
Some replacement options for missing teeth like dentures require you to purchase special cleaners and do intensive cleaning. With dental implants, you brush and floss them just as you would your natural teeth. There is no special toothpaste to buy — no need for special cleaners, adhesive, or special flosses.
Dentures can sometimes slip out and get in the way of eating and speaking, which can be embarrassing. Dental implants are permanently affixed to your mouth, just like your natural teeth, so there are no embarrassing slippage issues.
Dental Implants Support Adjacent Teeth
Missing teeth can cause the teeth on either side to slip or shift positions. It can even lead to further tooth loss, causing a self-perpetuating problem that only goes downhill from there. Dental implants fill this gap so your surrounding teeth stay in place.
Dental Implants Can Be Done on the Same Day
Depending on the health of your jawbone, same day dental implants are possible. We can attach the implants during a single appointment so you leave with beautiful and functional teeth on the same day. Same day dental implants are an immediate solution for tooth replacement.
Need Dental Implants? Call Us!
So whether you’re getting dental implants for cosmetic or functional purposes, they are clearly the best solution for tooth replacement. If you would like to learn more about dental implant surgery, contact our office. We’d be happy to help!