61 percent of Americans say they wish they could change something about their teeth. Discoloration, crookedness, and receding gums are some common reasons people feel self-conscious about their teeth.
But an arguably bigger problem is where one or more teeth are missing entirely. It’s a more common problem than you may think, with 69 percent of adults having lost at least one tooth at some point.
If you recently lost one or more teeth, you can opt between dentures and dental implants. Many experts recommend the latter, and it’s easy to see why. The benefits of dental implants are numerous.
In today’s post, we highlight some of the top advantages of choosing the dental implant procedure for your missing teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants refer to replacement tooth roots that are fixed into your jawbone. These fixtures offer a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth.
Once dental implants are placed into your jawbone, they fuse with the bone and become a strong part of it. The dentist can then place a crown or artificial tooth on top of the implant, resulting in a tooth that looks and functions as a natural tooth would.
As soon as you’ve decided that dental implants are the best option for you, you need to see an oral surgeon. The surgeon helps you prepare for dental implants by performing an assessment on your mouth and telling you of the benefits and risks associated with implants. You can then move on to the actual dental implant procedure.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
There are many reasons why the dental implant procedure is among the most popular choices in cosmetic dentistry. Here are some of them.
Dental Implants Can Make You Feel Better About Yourself
81 percent of people believe their teeth look unappealing in photographs. It’s no wonder that 28 percent of people never show their smiles on their social media pictures.
The truth is a missing tooth can quickly take the shine out of your smile and deeply impact your self-esteem. Conversely, a beautiful smile can be a great source of pride.
Dental implants can instantly resolve your problem if you have missing teeth. This way, you no longer have to worry about other people noticing you’re lacking a tooth. And with 96 percent of people attesting that smiling is vital to a person’s overall appearance, you want to make sure yours is a great one.
Implants Can Enhance Your Oral Health
Dental implants can also help boost the state of your overall oral health.
Once you’ve had an implant procedure, your dentist will usually want to see you more often. The goal is to ensure that your implants are settling in well. During these visits, your dentist will also check other aspects of your oral health.
Another way dental implants take care of your oral health is by ensuring that only a specific part is targeted. While dental bridges affect nearby teeth, dental implants focus on the specific area with the missing tooth. Thus, the procedure avoids harming nearby tissue.
Dental Implants Are Comfortable
Given that a dental implant simulates the root of your tooth, it feels similar to your natural teeth. After your dental implant recovery, the implants feel comfortable and secure.
The fact that dental implants are permanent also means that you don’t need to worry about the discomfort of going through the procedure again. With dentures, you need to go for a replacement every five to ten years.
Moreover, you don’t need to keep removing implants for cleaning, as dentures require. Implants also don’t require adhesives to stay in place. These qualities make implants a lot more comfortable than other restorative dental procedures.
Implants Help Improve Your Speech
Your teeth play a significant role in speech. Missing teeth can make it extremely hard or even impossible to pronounce certain words correctly. That makes it difficult for other people to understand what you’re saying.
Oral communication is a huge part of human communication, and not being able to speak correctly can be both limiting and embarrassing. Dental implants function like your natural teeth, providing a surface on which your tongue can press when forming words. That can dramatically enhance your confidence when communicating.
Implants Can Restore Bite Force
Missing teeth interfere with your ability to chew food. Implants can help rectify this problem.
Even better, dental implants are anchored into the jaw using a titanium post that acts as a replacement for the root of the missing tooth. As a result, the bite force is just about the same as that of a natural tooth.
Other options, such as dentures, cannot restore the same amount of bite force as that offered by natural teeth. That’s because these replacements typically sit on the top of your gums instead of being firmly anchored in place.
The main reason behind restoring your bite force is to ensure that you can still continue to enjoy your favorite foods. Your teeth perform the largest percentage of eating mechanics, and missing them can make it difficult to eat meat, nuts, vegetables, and raw fruits.
Implants Enhance Bone Growth
One of the biggest concerns after losing your teeth is that your jawbone starts to shrink. The body immediately starts to absorb the bone located where your teeth were. Over time, the structure and stability of your jawbone are compromised.
Once you get dental implants, it stimulates bone growth throughout your healing process. If a certain amount of bone loss has already occurred in your jaw, the effect is reversed.
Dental Implants Restore the Shape Of Your Face
Missing teeth essentially change the shape of your face.
In a healthy mouth where all teeth are present, the jawbone supports the roots of your teeth. The moment you lose teeth, the jawbone starts to shrink slowly, leading to less facial support. With every tooth you lose, bone and facial muscle support decrease, changing how your face looks over time.
Without the support offered by teeth, you start to show such facial collapse signs as sagging or sunken cheeks. You begin to look older than you really are.
Dental implants can help resolve this issue right away. They work just like your natural teeth do, providing the facial support that helps maintain the youthful shape of your face.
Maintenance Is Easier With Implants
Just like your natural teeth, implants require proper dental care to serve you well for decades. That means implementing a proper daily hygiene program, similar to what you would do with your natural teeth.
You’ll need to brush your implants twice every day using a soft-bristle brush. Be sure to floss the implants daily too, and get regular checkups.
Other dental restorative procedures, such as dentures, are much more demanding when it comes to maintenance. You have to remove them every night when going to bed and soak them in a special cleaning solution. Dentures also require you to remove them and brush them after meals.
The fact that implants are a permanent solution makes maintenance much easier and less costly. Dentures lose bite force over time, meaning that you need to refit them every few years.
Besides, with dental implants, you never have to worry about the embarrassing slippages associated with dentures. People with dentures are no strangers to the visible slips and shifts that occur inside their mouths while they’re eating, speaking, or laughing. Implants always stay anchored in place, helping you enjoy your life without worries.
Dental Insurance Can Help Cover the Cost of Implants
Getting dental implants can set you back anywhere between $3,000 and $4,500, but the benefits you get are more than worth the cost. But even if you don’t have that money saved, your dental insurance may be able to help with the cost of the procedure.
Note that basic-level insurance may not include dental implants. However, some higher-tier policies may cover at least half of the total cost of the procedure, which can prove extremely helpful. Check with your insurance provider to be sure if they cover a percentage of dental implant work.
Dental Implants Are the Best Answer to Missing Teeth
Whether you’re missing one tooth or six of them, the impact on your appearance, speech, and ability to eat can be significant. The great news is that dental implants can help resolve the problem once and for all. And with the many benefits of dental implants that you stand to gain, there’s no reason to choose any other restorative dental procedure.