Despite advances in dental care, many Americans suffer from tooth loss. In fact, 178 million people in the US are missing at least one tooth.
And this shocking figure is only expected to rise in the coming decades as more and more people lose teeth as a result of tooth decay, gum disease, accidental injury, cancer, or simply from wear and tear.
For many years the only options available to those with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. However, in recent years, dental implants have become more widely available as an option to replace missing teeth.
Here we look at some of the key facts about dental implants that you should consider if you’re looking into tooth replacement.
1. Dental Implants Replace the Tooth Root
If you break or damage a tooth then covering it with a crown or veneer can solve the problem. However, if the whole tooth and its root are lost, a void is left where the root was previously situated.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, placed where the root of your missing tooth used to be. An artificial tooth is then attached to this implant to give the appearance of a real tooth.
The implant is usually made from titanium and fuses to the jawbone to provide an artificial root for the replacement tooth to be attached to.
2. Tooth Replacement Looks and Feels Natural
One of the big advantages for people looking into getting dental implants is how natural the tooth replacement looks and feels.
The oral surgeon or periodontist and your dentist will work together to create a replacement tooth and root which will be a perfect copy of your missing tooth, indistinguishable from all your other natural teeth.
Before you get restorative work done on your missing tooth, you might also like to consider cosmetic dental work, such as tooth whitening. That way when your replacement tooth is matched up to your existing teeth, you’ll have a brighter full smile to show off.
3. Dental Implants Have a Great Success Rate
Dental implants involve surgery, which can be a worry for some people.
The position of the missing tooth and the oral health of the patient can affect the success of a dental implant.
However, if your dentist feels that a dental implant is the best choice for you then you can rest assured that dental implants have a success rate of 95%.
Caring for your implant with regular flossing and brushing will minimize the risk of any future issues or problems.
4. Eating is Easier with Dental Implants
For anyone who is used to dentures, the worry of breaking them when you bite down on something hard or feeling them slide in your mouth can put you off from eating many foods.
By comparison, eating with dental implants is just like eating with your own real teeth. The way that the dental implant fuses with your jawbone encourage new tissue to grow around the implant, creating an even stronger anchor for the artificial tooth.
Thanks to this strong bond, you will be able to bite into whatever foods you feel like eating.
5. Dental Implants also Protect Healthy Teeth
Another big plus for many people is that it’s possible to replace a single missing tooth without compromising the health of teeth surrounding it.
It is not necessary to trim down neighboring teeth as it is when dental bridges are inserted, and there is nothing resting on the gum as there can be with removable partial dentures.
For more information about tooth replacement or any other dental procedures, contact us with your questions and comments.