If you have a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, dental implants must be considered.
Although they aren’t the only option, implants have unmatched benefits in the long and short term. Before exploring the benefits, let’s look at what dental implants are.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium, zirconium or ceramic screw that is inserted into the jaw, replacing the root of the missing tooth. The surrounding bone slowly fuses to the implant, serving to hold it securely in place. This implant (also known as an abutment) provides the structure to which a false tooth (a crown or implant-supported bridge) can be fitted.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
1. Dental implants look like natural teeth
Listing this as one point hardly does it justice. It is a major benefit. Once treatment is completed, the result looks completely natural and will be visually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Ceramic implants are ivory-colored, like a natural tooth root, providing an aesthetically pleasing alternative to metal implants.
2. They feel like natural teeth
Because dental implants function exactly as a natural tooth would, you can forget about them. Caring for implant teeth is no different than caring for your natural teeth. You must brush and floss them daily, but you won’t have to apply special creams and adhesives, or soak them in a glass overnight, as you would with dentures. They’ll also never need a filling or a root canal, as the natural teeth supporting bridgework might.
3. They are durable – often lasting a lifetime
Dental implants have a 98% success rate and the manner in which they work, becoming part of your jawbone, gives them unrivaled durability. If you maintain good oral hygiene and keep to regular dental check-ups following this treatment, there is a good chance the implant will last a lifetime.
4. When measured as a lifetime treatment, implants are cost effective
A common concern is that dental implants cost more than other options and, in terms of the initial cost, this is often true. That, though, does not give the full picture. A dental implant is likely to last a lifetime so the cost per year can be lower than alternative treatments that may need replacing or correcting in later years.
5. Your quality of life won’t be affected (it may even be improved!)
As your dentist we recommend maintaining a healthy diet and limiting sugar, but whatever you choose to eat, your dental implant will not hinder you. Implant teeth allow you to eat, speak and smile with complete confidence because they will never slip or shift like removable options often do.
6. They can prevent bone loss
Tooth loss inevitably leads to bone loss if the tooth is not replaced. Unlike other replacement options, dental implants can help stimulate the bone to rebuild itself and stay healthy by fusing to the jawbone and stabilizing it. You may wonder why this prevention of bone loss matters. It helps to keep the jaw and gums strong, reducing the likelihood of fractures and other oral health problems developing and affecting the rest of the mouth.
7. They do not compromise the health of other teeth
Dental implants have no effect on the health of adjacent natural teeth; other tooth-replacement options, however, can weaken adjacent teeth and leave them more susceptible to decay.
8. Dental implants can replace any number of teeth
If two or more teeth are missing, the gaps need to be closed as quickly as possible to avoid mispositioning of the teeth and jawbone. Implant-supported bridges and partial dentures supported by dental implants offer more stability than conventional dentures.
9. They enhance self-esteem
A missing tooth can lead to lowered self-esteem and some teeth restoration treatments such as a bridge or dentures do not always fully rectify this issue. A dental implant is different. The result is a tooth that looks and feels completely natural and so creates a natural-looking smile which restores the smile and boosts self-esteem. Bone loss can also alter the facial structure over time, creating a sunken and prematurely aged appearance.
10. The process is tried and tested
At The Dental Surgery, we have fitted over 20,000 dental implants. This is a popular, common procedure that is proven to deliver lasting, long-term results, boosting oral health and addressing the aesthetic issues of a missing tooth or teeth.
The Alternatives to Implants
There are three main alternatives to dental implants with brief details below. More information can be found here.
A partial denture consists of a removable acrylic plate or metal frame holding one or more artificial teeth. Although a cheap option, this has the lowest rate of long-term success – lasting five years in just 40% of cases. Partial dentures are removable and so offer a very different experience to implants, which function as a natural tooth would.
This treatment option fixes an artificial tooth to the adjacent teeth by metal “wings”. The success rate is high, with the bridge lasting at least five years in 88% of cases, though the average lifespan is not hugely beyond this at seven years, 10 months. One drawback is that in some cases it is possible to see the metal that holds the artificial tooth in place through the teeth.
A conventional bridge is a fixed artificial tooth that is held in place by cutting the adjacent teeth to allow it fit into place. This option has a high success rate and is a longer-term solution than the previously mentioned treatments, though one potential issue to consider is that it can damage the adjacent teeth as they are “cut” to make the space for the bridge. In 32% of cases the nerve of the teeth can devitalise and if the bridge fails this can also compromise the health of other teeth.
If you would like further information about dental implants or find out if this is a suitable treatment option for you, please contact us on 020 7680 1800. We also offer free virtual consultations with our dental experts, simply follow this link https://bit.ly/3dy6eSp to submit photos of your teeth which we will assess and discuss with you over a video call.
Why consider The Dental Surgery?
“I have seen many dentists over the last 30 years or so – but none of them have put me at my ease as much. I was very nervous going for a tooth extraction and then for a subsequent dental implant, but they made the whole process painless and very manageable – I would highly recommend, especially if you need more advanced dental treatment.”
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