You’ve heard of using dental implants to replace missing teeth. Did you know that implants have benefits beyond that of enhancing your appearance? Dental implants offer advantages to your oral health over any other tooth replacement option available.
A dental implant is a surgical procedure in which a small titanium screw is inserted into your jawbone, under the gum line, to take the place of the roots of the missing tooth. The implant will bond naturally to the bone, and a custom-made artificial tooth (crown) is attached to the top of the screw.
Oral Health Benefits of Dental Implants
Protecting Bone Density
Bone requires ongoing stimulation to retain its density. This is especially true as we age. Without the tooth root stimulating the bone through chewing and biting, the bone resorbs and dissolves into the bloodstream. This can lead to several problems, which includes:
- Facial collapse - the appearance of the lips, cheeks, and chin can change dramatically
- Difficulty in restoring the tooth in the future - if too much time is allowed to lapse before a tooth is replaced, there may not be enough bone left to place the implant
- Loss of surrounding teeth - if the bone surrounding the missing tooth weakens, that can affect the other teeth and cause them to loosen or fall out.
Implants are unique in that they fuse with the jawbone and behave just like a natural tooth root. They stimulate the jaw and help preserve bone density.
Avoiding Shifting Teeth
Gaps in your teeth provide the opportunity for teeth to gradually shift and move in your mouth. This movement can lead to misaligned teeth and an improper bite, which can make it difficult to exercise proper dental hygiene. Drifting teeth could require realignment with braces or other corrective measures. Dental implants keep teeth in their place by filling in gaps left by missing teeth.
Reducing the Risk of Periodontal Problems
Cleaning around dentures and bridges is difficult and can affect gum health. The same is true of a bacterial infection that may occur in an empty tooth socket. These spaces are difficult to clean, so plaque buildup is likely, which can lead to infections. Putting a dental implant into the space makes your oral hygiene much simpler. Implants feel like your natural teeth, so you can brush and floss thoroughly, reducing your chances of developing gum disease and cavities.
Enjoying a Healthy Diet
When you are missing teeth, it can be difficult to eat a diet that promotes your dental health. There is a long list of foods that you cannot eat when you have dentures or bridges. When you have implants, you can eat normally and enjoy a healthy diet.
Lastly, implants can improve the quality of your life. Having missing teeth, ill-fitting dentures, or bridges that cause pain or self-consciousness can greatly affect your self- esteem. Over time this can have a significant impact on your life and indirectly, your health.
Our dentists here at Advanced Family Dentistry in Ankeny look forward to explaining all the benefits of dental implants. Call today for an appointment!