More than 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth in at least one jaw, and 69% of adults between the ages of 35-44 have already lost at least one permanent tooth. There is a tooth replacement option that can help you maintain a healthy smile and high quality of life for years to come—the dental implant.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that can be used to replace one or more missing teeth as well as to stabilize a denture or dental bridge. Once the implant is placed and integrates with the jawbone, a crown or other restoration is permanently attached to it. Dental implants are an excellent option for replacing teeth because they look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
The downward spiral of tooth loss
To understand what makes dental implants an excellent tooth replacement option, let’s look at what happens when teeth are missing.
Not only does having missing teeth detract from one’s appearance and self-confidence, it also takes away the stimulation of biting and chewing that are required in maintaining jawbone volume and density. As the bone deteriorates, it can cause the face to appear shrunken and make a person appear older.
The problem with removable dentures and fixed bridges
While fixed bridges and removable dentures at least improve a person’s appearance, they have their own issues.
Removable dentures put pressure on the underlying jawbone, but it is not the kind of pressure needed to maintain bone volume in your jaw. The kind of pressure that traditional dentures place on the jaw actually accelerates bone loss and facial collapse.
Bone shrinkage over time makes it so that the dentures no longer fit as snugly as they once did, and they can begin to shift position or wobble when you chew or talk. Moreover, the instability makes it difficult, if not impossible, to eat certain foods. When nutrition is restricted, so too is overall health.
Fixed dental bridges have their own drawbacks. Bridges are attached to adjacent natural teeth, which need be filed down in the process. This weakens these teeth and can make them more susceptible to decay.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants solve many of the challenges caused by tooth loss without adding to the problems or creating new ones. Here are some of the advantages that dental implants offer:
- Dental implants prevent bone loss – by allowing you to bite and chew as you would with a natural tooth, they provide the needed stimulation to maintain jaw bone density
- Dental implants are aesthetic and natural-looking – they are the most life-like tooth replacements and are designed to blend in with the rest of your natural teeth
- You can eat your favorite foods – dental implants provide the needed stability and chewing power to allow you to eat all the foods you love
- You can enjoy better oral health – because implants do not rely on other teeth for their support, there is no need to compromise any of your healthy teeth
- Dental Implants are convenient – you do not have to remove them for cleaning or apply messy adhesives to keep them in place
- You can enjoy a better quality of life – being able to laugh, talk, smile, and eat the foods you love without being self-conscious enhances your quality of life and overall health
- Dental Implants are long-lasting – they have a 95% success rate and when cared for properly, can last a lifetime
Does every missing tooth need to be replaced with an implant?
Not necessarily. Some dentists offer both implant-supported dentures and implant- supported bridges, which serve as an economical solution to replacing teeth while still giving you many of the benefits dental implants provide.
Experienced, Competent Dental Implant Care
If you would like to know more about dental implants and how they can help you, make an appointment with us.Dr. Feryal Alidadi has taken extensive advanced training and has over a decade of experience placing dental implants. She will sit down with you and take the time to go over your situation and help you find the best solution for tooth replacement.
To make an appointment, call 914‑290‑5524 or click here to request an appointment online.