If you have missing teeth, you might think that your only solution is to get a bridge or dentures. But there’s another solution: dental implants. Unlike bridges or dentures, a dental implant is permanent, and it looks and functions just like a normal tooth.
Dental implants can be more costly in the short term than the alternatives, but most people say they’re a superior choice. According to the cosmetic procedure review site RealSelf, 95% of people who have gotten dental implants say it was “worth it.”
In this blog, the providers at Dental Art of South Bay explain what dental implants are, what’s involved in getting them, and why they’re a better option than the alternatives.
Dental implants are tooth replacements. Once they’re installed, they function just like natural teeth. You eat with them like normal, and you take care of them just like your natural teeth by brushing and flossing.
To get a dental implant, a titanium post — which resembles a screw — is inserted into your jaw where your tooth used to be. The post then fuses to your jawbone, which can take 3-6 months. Once the post fuses to your jawbone, it’s topped with an abutment. Finally, a crown — which is the only thing that will be visible above your gumline — is attached to the abutment.
Dental implants have many advantages. The most important advantage is a dental implant can help maintain the structure of your face. A missing tooth can allow other teeth to shift, and it can also cause your cheek to have a sunken appearance.
A dental implant can prevent these things from happening. Furthermore, a dental implant can provide stimulation to your jawbone. Without this stimulation, that area of your jawbone could atrophy.
Dental implants can also allow you to speak, chew, and care for them normally, which can be a challenge with dentures or bridges. Dentures can be uncomfortable, and they can alter your ability to speak and chew normally.
While bridges don’t generally change your speaking or eating habits, they can require more complicated flossing procedures, which can increase your risk of getting decay under your bridge.
Dental implants are also permanent. Bridges and dentures have lifespans of about 10 years with good care. So with an implant, you pay once and you’re done. With bridges and dentures, you need to replace them every so often, which may end up being more expensive in the long run.
When you see us for dental implants, we’ll first examine your gums, teeth, and jawbone tissue. If you have any cavities, we’ll need to take care of those first. And, if your jawbone isn’t thick enough, we might need to give you bone grafts to build up a base for your dental implant.
Dental implants are not a good option if you’re a heavy smoker, as this can interfere with your mouth’s ability to heal. Similarly, if you have diabetes or certain autoimmune conditions, you may not be a good candidate for dental implants.
Of course every case is unique, so the best thing you could do is come in for a consultation. We’ll give you a thorough examination and discuss all of your options. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Dental Art of South Bay today.