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What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are the most advanced treatment for replacing missing teeth. Implants permanently replace a natural tooth by placing a small titanium post into the jaw under the gumline which is then used to support a tooth, bridge or denture. The post fuses with the bone, creating a custom-fitted tooth, bridge or denture secured to the implant, which holds them firmly in place.
Why consider implants?
When a tooth is lost, the jawbone beneath it begins to shrink (or atrophy) and becomes brittle from lack of use. Not only does losing a tooth affect your smile, it also changes the shape of your face, causing it to look sunken and prematurely aged. Losing one or more of your teeth:
- Creates a gap in your smile.
- Causes bone loss.
- Affects your ability to chew properly.
- Altered diet and nutrition can lead to greater overall health issues and a shortened life expectancy.
- Has been associated with heart disease and cerebrovascular disease (strokes).
What are the advantages of dental implants?
According to the American Dental Association, more than 5.5 million implants are fulfilled annually by dentists in the U.S. Here’s why they’re so popular:
- Improved appearance.
Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
- Improved speech.
With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
- Improved comfort.
Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
- Easier eating.
Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
- Improved self-esteem.
Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
- Improved oral health.
Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.
How successful are dental implants?
Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants should last a lifetime.
Are you a good candidate for an implant?
If your gums are healthy, you have enough bone to support an implant and if you’re in good general health, you’re considered an ideal candidate for a dental implant. To explore options for a dental implant, implant supported bridge or “never move dentures,” please call to schedule an exam and consultative appointment.