What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, typically made from titanium, that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once secured into your jaw, replacement teeth can be mounted onto them. Generally, candidates who seek dental implants are those who have lost a tooth or several teeth, perhaps to periodontal diseases, an injury or for some other reason.
How do dental implants work?
Once the dental implant is secured into the jaw bone, they provide stable support for artificial teeth. They allow for an individual tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch to then be permanently fitted into the mouth.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
To be a candidate for dental implants, healthy gums and adequate bone is required. The jawbone must be in a healthy condition, with enough bone to sustain having the implants fused to it. Often when patients turn towards dental implants for missing teeth, the teeth have been absent for some time. This could be because, at first, it was just one absent tooth that wasn’t too noticeable or because the patient had previously been wearing dentures. This causes a problem because when teeth are absent from the mouth, the jawbone begins to deteriorate from the lack of stimulation that the tooth root used to provide. However, if this is the case then there are other procedures that can be undertaken to get the mouth ready and in a healthy enough condition to sustain dental implants, such as bone and gum grafting.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are becoming the preferred treatment for tooth replacement. Here are just some of the benefits dental implants patients reap:
- Natural feeling – dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth. They’re strong, stable and look, fit, feel and function as a normal tooth.
- Improved appearances – Not only will your smile benefit from having a full arch of teeth, but your entire facial structure will too. People with several missing teeth can suffer from facial collapse, where the lips fold in and the cheeks and lower half appear sunken. Dental implants will provide your cheeks, lips and bite with the fullness they need to put the life back in your smile.
- Increased confidence – having a restored mouth means you’ll no longer feel self-conscious about your smile. You’ll regain the self-esteem to laugh and eat whenever and wherever you please. The biggest response we receive from our patients is how dental implants have allowed them to feel comfortable again in everyday situations.
- Jaw bone health – one of the biggest health advantages of dental implants is that they help to keep your mouth strong and firm by stimulating and preserving the jaw bone, encouraging bone growth, and preventing bone loss (which occurs when teeth are missing).
- Improved speech – unlike poor-fitting, removable dentures, dental implants will not slip in the mouth. This means patients are not at risk of mumbling or slurring their words. Dental implants allow patients to speak normally, as they would with natural teeth, without the worry that their teeth might slip.
- Permanent – dental implants are fitted permanently into your mouth, meaning teeth are kept where they belong – in your mouth.
- Comfortable – because dental implants are a part of you, they’re as comfortable as natural teeth. The discomforts experienced with removable dentures are not a factor with dental implants.
- Low maintenance – cavities can’t occur in replacement teeth. However, regular dental visits and scheduled cleans, as well as daily cleaning and flossing should happen, as it would with natural teeth.
- Easier eating – removable dentures slide in the mouth, making chewing difficult and often meaning certain foods are avoided. This worry is eliminated with dental implants, allowing your favourite foods to be eaten without worry or pain.
- Improved nutrition – because no food groups are eliminated from your diet (usually experienced with removable dentures due to chewing difficulties), an overall improvement in nutrition and general wellbeing is experienced.
- Durability – Unlike dental bridges, dental implants are built to last a lifetime. If cared for properly, they will be your last dental investment.