If you have one or more missing teeth, you may have already considered tooth-replacement options, but dentures aren't practical and dental bridges affect healthy teeth. Luckily, dental implants are another option to consider. Thanks to their growing popularity, more and more dentists are offering this procedure. Before you sign up for treatment, however, check out these three facts.
They Are a Durable Replacement for Normal Teeth
Dental implants are the most durable way to replace normal healthy teeth. Dentures provide little durability, and they may even crack or break if you chew improperly. This is because they only rest on the surface of the gums, so they have little stability. Dental bridges have more stability because they use healthy anchor teeth to lodge the bridge in place. These anchor teeth take on the wear and tear of the fake tooth. A dental implant, however is incredibly durable because like a real tooth, it uses your jawbone for support. The titanium implant fuses to bone, creating a strong hold that is comparable to the ligaments that hold teeth in place.
You May Need a Bone Graft Prior to the Implant
Your dentist may recommend a bone graft before placing the implant. This is due to atrophy of the jawbone. If you lose a tooth, the jawbone near the missing tooth begins to shrink with nothing to stimulate it. The more teeth you lose, the more your jaw atrophies. However, even a little weakening of the jawbone can drastically affect the durability of an implant. Therefore, the dentist may want to promote new bone growth with a graft first. The longer the tooth has been missing, the greater the chance a bone graft is needed. After the implant is placed, it will stimulate the jawbone to prevent future weakening.
Single Implants Aren't the Only Option
The appeal of dentures and dental bridges is they replace more than one tooth with ease. Luckily, implants have taken advantage of the benefits of dentures and dental bridges too. While a single dental implant consists of one artificial titanium root and tooth crown, implant-supported dentures and implant-supported bridges replace multiple teeth. Implant-supported dentures are great if you are missing an entire top/bottom row of teeth, and implant-supported bridges are great if you have multiple missing teeth in a row. The benefit is that both options are supported by titanium implants, giving them that amazing durability. Implant-supported bridges, like single implants, are not removable, but implant-supported dentures are.
Missing teeth can affect your self-confidence, but they can also affect how you eat or speak, and even the shape of your jawbone. If you are sick of missing teeth, consider dental implants because of their great durability. For more information about dental implants or other tooth replacement options, contact a dentist in your area today.