If you’re missing one or more teeth, you’re not alone. Missing teeth are common. In fact, more than half of American adults are missing at least one tooth, and about 20% of people over age 64 have no remaining natural teeth.
At DNTL Studio, Valay Desai, DDS, and Prashant Amin, DDS, often recommend dental implants for patients at their Upland, California, practice. In this post, we review five reasons why we — and our patients — prefer these state-of-the-art restorations.
One big reason our patients love implants over other restorations is comfort. Unlike dentures and bridges, implants are designed like your natural tooth, with the post serving as a “stand-in” root. Implanted into your jaw, the post securely holds your crown or artificial tooth, making these restorations far more comfortable than their alternatives.
A well-fitting denture can be pretty secure, but there’s always the risk of slippage, especially when you’re eating. Plus, with a denture (or bridge), your jawbone loses mass over time and as it thins, your dentures won’t fit as securely.
On the other hand, dental implant posts are embedded into your jaw, so you don’t have to worry about slippage. You also won’t develop sore spots or infections that can happen when a denture repeatedly slips and irritates your gum tissue.
Dental implants feature the most advanced materials, so they last a long time. The implant post is made of titanium, a super-strong metal that’s also biocompatible, which means it won’t cause irritation or allergies.
The crown is made of porcelain, a strong material able to stand up to biting and chewing. Porcelain can also be tinted to match your other teeth, and it reflects light like a natural tooth.
Both dentures and bridges require special care to keep them in good shape. With a bridge, you need to learn how to carefully clean around and under your appliance to prevent gum disease and keep your teeth on either side of your bridge healthy and strong. Dentures also need special cleaning and care to prevent problems like chips, breakage, and odors.
By contrast, dental implants don’t require a special care routine. Instead, they can be cared for as you care for your natural teeth, with regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups to make sure your gums stay healthy.
Your jawbone plays an important role in your oral health. Just like other tissue in your body, your jawbone is continually replenishing itself, replacing old, damaged, or dead cells with healthy, new cells.
To maintain that natural replacement cycle, your jaws depend on stimulation by your tooth roots. Once a tooth is lost, that stimulation is lost as well. Pretty soon, your jawbone replacement cycle slows down. Your bone thins and weakens, providing less support for your other tooth roots. Over time, your teeth can weaken as well and eventually fall out.
Implants help prevent additional tooth loss by providing the same stimulation as a natural tooth root. That’s because, unlike bridges and dentures that rest on top of your gums, implant posts are embedded inside your bone, where they act to stimulate the growth of new, healthy tissue.
Just one missing tooth can lead to jaw thinning, poor tooth support, and ultimately, additional tooth loss. Plus, missing teeth alter your bite balance and can even change the way your face looks.
Implants are a popular option for replacing one or more teeth so you can enjoy better oral health at every age. To learn more about implants and how they can help you, call DNTL Studio to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.