Dental implants: A more “natural” solution to tooth loss
Even a single missing tooth can dramatically change the way you feel about yourself, and it can dramatically change your appearance, too. Lots of people lose teeth — in fact, the American College of Prosthodontists says about 120 million American adults are missing at least one tooth. For years, the only solution to tooth loss was to have a denture or a bridge — both of which serve a purpose, but still have a lot of shortcomings. Dental implants provide an alternative to dentures and bridges — an alternative that’s very popular for many reasons.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are “artificial” teeth or crowns attached to your jaw bone using a special post. The post is implanted into your jaw where it fuses with the bone (a process that takes a few months). Once the post is stable, the crown is secured to the implant using a special piece called an abutment. Most implants require three visits for placement.
Dental implants can be used to replace individual teeth, or they can be used to secure a denture, replacing an entire row (upper arch or lower arch) of teeth. After your implant is in place, you can care for it just like you care for your natural teeth — brush, floss and have routine checkups to make sure the gums surrounding the implant stay healthy.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants have increased in popularity during the last decade, partly because of advances in technology, but mostly because of all the benefits they offer. Compared to dentures and bridges, dental implants are:
- More secure — no more embarrassing slippage or uncomfortable sore spots
- Easy to care for
- Long-lasting — with proper care, they can last as long as your natural teeth (or longer)
- More comfortable — they’re designed to feel and “work” like your own natural teeth
Because implants are designed to mimic the “design” of your natural teeth, they can also help you feel a lot more confident after tooth loss. You don’t have to worry about your dentures “popping” out at the most inopportune moments, and they won’t slip and rub against your lips and gums.
Implants come with another major benefit. Because the implant post is embedded in the jaw bone, it helps stimulate the natural bone replacement cycle to keep your jaw bone healthy and strong. Bone loss is a common side effect of tooth loss, leading to a change in facial shape and significantly increasing your risk for additional tooth loss. Dentures and bridges rest on top of the gums, so they can’t prevent bone loss and the problems that go along with it.
Find out if dental implants are right for you
Dental implants can be a great option for most patients, but they’re not always the ideal choice for everyone. Seeing your Smile Workshop dentist is the first step toward deciding if dental implants are right for you. With 14 locations across San Antonio, Amarillo and Dallas-Fort Worth, Smile Workshop makes it easy to get the state-of-the-art care you need to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. To learn more about dental implants and how they can help you look and feel your best, use our online contact form or call Smile Workshop at 1-888-833-8404 to book an appointment online today.