July 7, 2017
Missing teeth are a problem for over 178 million Americans right now, and in the past, the only way to replace them was with a removable denture or a dental bridge. While these treatments can be effective and are still used today, they leave a lot to be desired when it comes to looks, function, and stability. Fortunately, there is now a new, better way to rebuild the smile so it can last a lifetime: dental implants.
Dental implants are the latest and greatest effort dentistry has to offer to replace missing teeth, but if you’re hoping to get rid of the gaps in your smile, are they right for you? Here are the 5 most important things you should know about dental implants.
1. They Replace the Entire Tooth
Most tooth replacement treatments only restore the visible part of the tooth, known as the crown. While they may look great, this still leaves a patient vulnerable to bone loss in the jaw because it needs tooth roots in order to maintain its shape and strength. This is where dental implants are special. A dental implant is actually a small titanium post that is placed directly into the jawbone to mimic a tooth root. This is used to support replacement teeth, and it provides them with unrivaled stability. Plus, it also restores the essential support the jaw needs, ensuring that more than just your teeth will look great for years to come.
2. They Can Replace Any Number of Teeth
Dental implants are quite versatile and can be used to support a variety of dental prosthetics. They can replace everything from a single tooth to an entire mouthful with implant-retained dentures. No matter how many teeth they are replacing, they still provide the same stability and reliability, making them one of the most useful treatments in all of dentistry.
3. They Look and Feel Completely Natural
The only difference between your real teeth and dental implants is that you weren’t born with dental implants. They are able to recreate a natural tooth in almost every way possible, including shape, size, color, strength, and even feel. This is because implant restorations are made entirely of dental porcelain, one of the most advanced materials in all of dentistry. It’s just as strong or stronger than natural enamel, and it even reflects light just like real teeth. Basically, the only person who will know they aren’t real will be you and your dentist.
4. They Provide Better Function
Because dental implants are held in place by your jawbone, they are much more durable than traditional dental bridges or dentures, which tend to rely on neighboring teeth or your gums for support. This will provide you with a stronger bite force, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy a wider variety of foods with ease. Plus, speaking will feel more natural, and in the case of implant-retained dentures, they’ll maintain their fit for much longer.
5. They Can Last a Lifetime
Dental implants have an extremely high success rate (95% and above) and can easily last for 30 years or more. To take care of them, all you have to do is brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly. They simply have a longevity that can’t be matched by any other treatment.
If dental implants sound exactly like what your smile needs to look and feel its best for decades to come, all you need to do is contact a local dentist in your area who provides them. They’ll walk you through the entire process of getting them, and before you know it, you’ll have your complete smile back.
About the Author
Dr. James Block is a third-generation dentist based in Fremont, CA. He has helped countless people rebuild their smiles with dental implants, and he just loves how they enable him to combine both his artistic touch and technical knowledge to improve his patients’ health and confidence at the same time. He currently practices at James Block Dentistry, and he can be reached through his website or at (510) 793-0801.
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