In the 18th century, professional dentists recognized the potential benefits of dental implants and began experimenting with ways to replace missing teeth. These experiments had only minimal success, yet dental professionals continued pressing forward because the benefits of dental implants seemed just around the corner. The newest generation implants have a 97% success rate, and at Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL, we use the most advanced implant technology available so you can enjoy every benefit of a healthy mouth.
The 7 Major Benefits of Dental Implants
They Act Like Real Teeth
When you’ve lost a tooth (or even more than one), you can’t help but notice. Biting and chewing feel less intuitive. Even brushing and flossing can be harder. Previous solutions to lost teeth, such as dentures, helped in some ways and certainly improved aesthetics, but they could never act just like natural teeth.
Dental implants give you back the natural feeling you need. Once your implant “takes,” you can eat, drink, floss, brush, smile, and simply live your life as if you’d never lost any teeth in the first place.
They Stop Bone Loss
Whenever a tooth goes missing, the jaw beneath the missing tooth begins to slowly deteriorate. Without stimulation, there’s nothing to signal to your jaw that it should keep that bone healthy and strong. Within the first year of losing a tooth, you can expect a 25% loss in bone volume, and this will continue as the years go on.
Once again, dentures are an imperfect solution. Not only do they fail to prevent bone loss, but they can even accelerate it as they rub against the bone, wearing it away. One of the benefits of dental implants is that, just as with natural teeth, they stimulate the bone and keep your whole jaw healthy.
They Keep Teeth Stable
Whenever you have a gap in your teeth, the teeth around the gap have a tendency to move into the empty space. They become crooked and shift around in ways that can eventually affect your ability to chew and change your appearance in small but noticeable ways. As your bite and mouth shape change, you can develop headaches or the pain of TMJ (tempo mandibular joint syndrome).
Having a dental implant put in early can stop this from happening. Your remaining teeth will stay in their place, and you’ll avoid the pain and distress that comes with shifting teeth.
They Last for Life
Dental bridges have a lifespan of just about 10 years, meaning you’ll have to go through the entire process again to get them replaced. Dentures also need regular replacement, especially if you don’t care for them well. But dental implants are bio-compatible and made to last.
Implants are made from titanium, which is proven to interact in a healthy way with nearly everyone’s jawbone. This non-toxic substance won’t be rejected, and your jawbone will regenerate around it just as it would with your original tooth. In most cases, these implants last a lifetime.
They Prevent Premature Aging
When you lose teeth, your face changes to compensate. As bone loss begins, the lower part of your face starts to sag without bone holding it up.
Over time, this sagging accelerates, and this will cause the skin around your mouth and lips to fall, too, creating premature wrinkles and causing you to look older than you are. Eventually, the chin becomes pointed as the lips fall inward due to bone loss. All this can be prevented with dental implants.
They Protect You From Gum Disease
Any hole or fold in our mouth is an open invitation for bacteria to accumulate. Food becomes trapped where it shouldn’t be, bacteria builds up, and gum disease is the result.
In the early stages, gum disease causes bad breath that can’t be fixed; swollen, tender gums that bleed when you brush; and pain when chewing. As the disease progresses, teeth become loose and sensitive. As the gums recede, your teeth appear longer and unnatural. Eventually, gum disease results in tooth loss and much unnecessary pain.
They Don’t Require Changes to Existing Teeth
Some ordinary bridges are attached to the teeth on either side of the gap where you’re missing a tooth. For this to fit properly, it’s often necessary to actually grind down the remaining teeth to hold the attachments. Not only does this damage the remaining natural teeth, but it can leave sore spots and ridges that irritate you constantly.
With dental implants, the bridge is secured to the root just as with your natural teeth, meaning you won’t need to grind down any teeth or suffer any irritation or soreness.
What Are Dental Implants?
An implant is simply a replacement tooth made to look and act like the real thing. Getting an implant starts when your orthodontist inserts a “root” made of titanium into the bone under the missing tooth or teeth. This becomes the support for a replacement tooth or teeth.
How It Works
The titanium implant will actually fuse with your jawbone. This makes the support stable so that whatever is mounted to it doesn’t slip or shift around when you eat or speak. You can have dentures, bridges, and crowns attached to your implant, and these will feel and act more naturally than any conventional dentures or bridges would.
The main issue with any implant is getting it to fuse with the jawbone. In nearly all cases, this fusion is highly successful and there are no unusual or difficult requirements for implant care. There are just a few key tips to follow to ensure a successful implant:
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
It is every bit as important to clean your implant as it is to clean your regular teeth. As with all your teeth, clean your implant twice a day with brushing and flossing. You may wish to switch to an interdental brush, which can slide between teeth and makes it easier to reach all the spaces around your implant.
Visit Your Dentist
With regular cleaning and exams, you’ll keep your implant (and your whole mouth) in good health and be able to catch any problems long before they become serious.
Commit to a Smoke-Free Life
If you’ve never been a smoker, good for you! Keep it up. If you currently smoke, now is the time to give up the habit. Smoking is a key contributor to those cases where implants fail, as it can weaken the bone structure of your jaw.
Avoid Very Hard Foods
If you’re the sort of person who likes crunching on ice cubes or needs to chew rather than suck on pieces of hard candy, your implant will thank you for breaking this habit. In fact, even your natural teeth will thank you! Neither natural teeth nor implants do well when constantly forced to chew extremely hard foods.
Are Dental Implants for Me?
The first step to finding out if a dental implant can help you is stopping in for a consultation at our clinic. We can help you understand the benefits of dental implants and evaluate whether they are right for your case. In general, however, dental implants could be a great fit for you if:
You’re in Good Health
If you have any untreated condition, like uncontrolled diabetes, you need to get your condition under control before getting any implants. There are also some medications that can interfere with healing after an implant procedure. If you’re taking any of these, your orthodontist will talk to you about alternative treatments or whether it might be possible to temporarily change medications.
You Have Healthy Gums
If your gums are infected, this can lead to more tooth loss and decrease the possibility of implant success. If you have gum disease, having it treated before you get your implant procedure done is an important first step.
You Have Enough Jaw Bone
There must be enough bone volume in your jaw for the implants to take hold. If you’ve been missing teeth for a while, it might help to have a bone graft before your implant to ensure a successful integration.
You’re Willing to Practice Good Oral Health Habits
The best way to ensure your implant will be successful is to take good care of it. This means brushing, flossing, and keeping up with dental appointments.
Implants vs Dentures
For nearly everyone, implants will be a superior choice compared to dentures. Even well-fitting dentures can slip over time as bone loss accelerates, and there are other important downsides to dentures that you should be aware of:
They Require Adhesive
Dentures have to be regularly glued into the mouth; sometimes as often as after every meal.
They Make It Hard to Chew
Because dentures have a tendency to move around when you chew, wearing them while you eat can be anything from annoying to very difficult. Dentures only offer about 10% of normal chewing power, too, meaning you may have to skip some of your favorite foods.
They Must Be Taken Out to Clean
Implants can be cleaned the same way as your natural teeth, but dentures have to be removed and cared for in a special and particular way.
They Cover the Roof of Your Mouth
Dentures cover the roof of your mouth, which means they can interfere with your sense of taste and other activities. Implants never do this. You never have the feeling of something odd in your mouth when you have dental implants.
They Can Make Odd Sounds
As you eat (and sometimes even when you talk) dentures can make an odd clicking sound. This may annoy you and distract other people as you interact with them.
They Can’t Prevent Bone Loss
As mentioned, you need the stimulation of high-pressure chewing to encourage the bone in your jaw to keep up volume. Implants can provide exactly this sort of stimulation. Dentures cannot.
Implants vs Conventional Bridges
At its most basic, a bridge is simply a false tooth or series of teeth that cross the empty space where teeth have been lost. Bridges are used with implants, too, but these are very different from conventional bridges.
In order to fit a conventional bridge, the teeth on either side have to be altered to fit the connection. This is one reason that conventional bridges can only last five or ten years at most. Because implants are connected to the jawbone just like real teeth, they will last a lifetime.
Learn More About Dental Implants
Your teeth are a vital part of you. When you have all your teeth, your face looks the way it always has and your jaw performs the way it should. You can’t get back a lost tooth, but you can have a natural replacement in a dental implant. To learn more, contact Implant and Comprehensive Dentistry in Champions Gate, FL today to learn more and schedule an appointment to talk with one of our experts.