Missing teeth can be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. Yet over half of all adults have lost at least one permanent tooth by middle age. The gaps left by these missing teeth don’t just damage your self-esteem, they can cause your remaining teeth to shift out of place and leave you more vulnerable to oral health problems.
Here are four great reasons implants make us smile here at Stonegate Dental
In the past, the only realistic options for most patients to fill spaces from missing teeth were either a removable denture or a fixed dental bridge. While these are still fairly common treatments, their popularity has declined greatly with the advances in dental implant technology - here are 4 reasons dental implants can be a superior choice for replacing missing teeth and restoring your beautiful smile.
1 - Preservation of Adjacent Teeth
A dental bridge consists of a false tooth attached to crowns on either side of it, which are affixed to the adjacent teeth to the gap. This typically requires grinding and preparation of these adjacent teeth, which can weaken them and cause problems later when the bridge wears out. A dental implant for a single missing tooth does not require any preparation or bonding with surrounding teeth, and is implanted directly into the jaw bone instead. Dental implants do not fail as frequently as bridges, and any wear or damage will not affect the teeth on either side of the false tooth.
2 - Longer Lasting
Dental implants can be considered a permanent solution to a missing tooth. Bridgework and crowns, as well as removable dentures, are all subject to normal wear-and-tear and can be susceptible to damage over time. The average dental bridge lasts less than 10 years before it requires replacement or repair (putting 3 teeth at risk instead of one). Dental implants should last a lifetime if cared for properly, just like a natural tooth!
3 - Prevent Bone Loss
One serious consequence of a missing tooth is the inevitable deterioration of the jaw bone beneath the space where the tooth used to be. Without the tooth root fixed inside the jaw bone, providing regular stimulation from chewing, the bone begins to recede. Eventually there will not be enough strong jaw bone remaining under the gap to place an implant at all, and this can cause undesired changes to the shape of the face. Unlike bridges, which sit above the gum in the space where a tooth once was, dental implants are fixed into the jaw bone and provide natural stimulation with chewing forces. This protects and strengthens the jaw bone beneath the missing tooth, preventing the unpleasant effects of bone loss seen in patients with bridges or removable dentures.
4 - Look and Feel Completely Natural
Dental implants are, by far, the most natural looking and feeling restoration option for a missing tooth. They are made from cutting-edge materials designed to resemble your original teeth as much as possible. The implant is fixed into your jaw with materials (typically titanium) that can form a physical bond with living bone tissue, allowing for a complete replacement of your natural tooth’s look, feel, and function.