Implants are the best solution for simulating the look, feel, and function of natural teeth. Dental implants do much more than replace missing teeth. They help maintain and strengthen bone structure, provide the ability to chew healthy food, and give patients the confidence to smile. They also protect existing teeth by helping to preserve bone structure.
Once a tooth is lost, several things begin to happen that are not immediately noticeable to a patient and which can have a significant negative effect on both health and appearance. Tooth roots help hold teeth in place, but they are also critical in maintaining health in the surrounding gums and supporting bone structures. Bone loss in the jawbone is one significant problem that naturally occurs once a tooth is lost.
This bone loss can compromise the integrity of neighboring tooth roots and tooth stability, and it is also a large part of what causes the “sunken” look that is seen in people who have lost several or all of their teeth. It is the reason patients who wear dentures find that over time their dentures are harder and harder to fit and keep in place.
Dental implant placement can help generate bone growth in the area around the implant, which not only strengthens the bone and builds support, but can also alleviate the sunken look that can occur with bone loss in the jaw. This process is known as Osseo integration and is a significant benefit of implant placement because it can also help prevent future bone loss.
Although having a beautiful smile and the confidence that comes with it are important, there are also important health reasons to have dental implants. Whether replacing one tooth or several, implants are an important solution to restoring and maintaining dental health.
If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them. Dental implants will replace both your lost natural teeth and some of the roots.
Dental implants provide several advantages over other teeth replacement options. In addition to looking and functioning like natural teeth, implant-supported full bridges or dentures are designed to be long lasting. Implant-supported full bridges and dentures also are more comfortable and stable than conventional dentures, allowing you to retain a more natural biting and chewing capacity.
In addition, because implant-supported full bridges and dentures will replace some of your tooth roots, your bone is better preserved. With conventional dentures, the bone that previously surrounded the tooth roots begins to resorb (deteriorate). Dental implants integrate with your jawbone, helping to keep the bone healthy and intact.
In the long term, implants can be more esthetic and easier to maintain than conventional dentures. The loss of bone that accompanies conventional dentures leads to recession of the jawbone and a collapsed, unattractive smile. Conventional dentures make it difficult to eat certain foods.