When you are missing one or more teeth, the thing that weighs most on your mind is the appearance of your smile. A noticeable missing tooth can lead to smiling less and even avoiding conversations because you are self-conscious about how you may look to other people. You might also ignore a lost molar because it is not easily seen when you smile.
You may not realize that a missing tooth also affects your oral health. Missing teeth can cause long-term damage to your jawbone, impact adjacent teeth, and even age your face. Fortunately, new technologies allow you to replace one or more missing teeth with a procedure that will replace the gap with an artificial tooth that looks and feels like your natural teeth.
Dental implants involve a surgical procedure to place a titanium screw into your jawbone to simulate the root of a natural tooth. Dr. Hogan will then attach a crown to the new root. The result is a new tooth that looks and feels like your natural teeth. Below are 10 benefits you will receive when you choose dental implants.
- Dental implants restore missing teeth using an artificial root and crown.
- The new tooth resembles your natural teeth in both its appearance and function.
- Dental implants have both aesthetic and oral health benefits.
- The process can restore your smile and improve oral health.
- Dental implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss.
Dental Implants Will Transform Your Smile and improve your self-confidence. When you have a broken, chipped, or missing tooth, you may avoid smiling, attempt to cover your mouth when you speak or take other actions to avoid embarrassment. Replacing the tooth with a dental implant will restore your smile and improve your self-esteem as you can interact with others without feeling self-conscious.
Dental implants will also help prevent further bone loss, and maintain a healthy aesthetic profile, reducing or slowing the signs of aging which can accelerate with bone loss due to missing teeth and poor oral health.
Versatile Solution for Aging Teeth: Dental implants can replace as many teeth as needed. Other procedures such as bridges and dentures have limitations with the number of teeth that may be restored. For example, dentures require removing all top and/or bottom teeth regardless of the health of the individual tooth. A bridge can only replace between one and four teeth and require healthy adjacent teeth on which to anchor the bridge.
Dental implants create a single root for each missing tooth, allowing you to replace as many teeth as necessary without losing any healthy teeth.
The Most Comfortable Option: Dental implants are placed directly in the jawbone, simulating the tooth’s root. Dr. Hogan will then secure the crown to the new post, which resembles your natural teeth in nearly every way. After the insertion of the titanium root, the jawbone fuses with the artificial post strengthening the tooth and holding it firmly in place.
After the procedure, the tooth is strong and will not move or shift. After a short time, you may forget it is there.
Other replacement options do not offer the same level of comfort, rigidity, and function. Dentures, for example, require an adhesive to secure the appliance in place and prevent it from moving and you must regularly clean and re-attach the dentures.
Dental Implants Look and Feel Like Natural Teeth: The crown is the part of the tooth you see. Dr. Hogan takes great care to match the artificial tooth placed on the implant post with the color and shape of your natural teeth. The new tooth will fit perfectly with your remaining teeth allowing you to brush and floss as you usually do. If you have healthy natural teeth, the new tooth will blend in and be indistinguishable from your natural teeth in its appearance. When considering dental implants, it is important to select a dentist with the requisite knowledge, experience, and artistic skill to ensure the best possible outcome.
Implants Will Not Interfere with Your Speech: Your teeth are an essential part of how you pronounce words. When young children lose baby teeth, they speak with a lisp or slur their words until the permanent tooth emerges. Missing teeth in adulthood can cause similar issues.
Dental Implants address these issues because there is no gap in your teeth and no appliance that can shift or move unexpectedly. The titanium root secures the tooth in place, just as the natural root does. If you are missing one or more front teeth, dental implants allow your tongue to press on the front teeth to form words correctly, allowing you to speak with confidence.
You Can Eat Your Favorite Foods: Missing teeth impact your ability to chew food, especially if you are missing molars. You may think they are less critical because you cannot see them, but the primary function of molars is chewing and breaking down the food you eat.
When there are gaps in your smile, the surrounding teeth tend to shift toward the opening, which can cause your remaining teeth to move out of position. This movement can affect your bite and the ability to chew food and makes replacing the tooth later more difficult. Filling the gap will prevent further bone loss and retain the position of your adjacent teeth and preserving your bite.
Other solutions, such as dentures, make it difficult to eat foods that require chewing or have a hard or sticky surface. When Dr. Hogan places the dental implant post, it is embedded in the jaw and will hold the tooth in place as well or better than your natural teeth. You will be able to enjoy all the food you love, including chewy or crunchy foods, without concern of being embarrassed in public.
Dental Implants Improve Your Oral Health: One of the reasons dentists like Dr. Hogan frequently recommend dental implants is because it not only gives you natural-looking teeth but can improve your overall oral health. Implants are supported by a root system similar to your natural teeth. The new tooth is anchored in the jaw by a titanium post that is screwed into the jawbone and does not put pressure on adjected teeth, like a bridge.
Gaps in your teeth can lead to gum disease because the gap tends to trap food and cause bacteria to grow. A poor bite can lead to other issues such as Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues, headaches, or chronic mouth pain.
Prevents Bone Loss: One of the functions of the root of a tooth is to support the jawbone. When you lose a tooth, the body will absorb the bone around the missing tooth. Within a year, you could lose up to 25% of the bone where the tooth once was, weakening the bone structure. Over time, especially if you have multiple missing or damaged teeth, the jaw can begin to reshape and sag, giving your face a caved-in look.
Dentures can actually accelerate bone loss because when they many times do not fit properly, the dentures can rub against the ridge of the jawbone, wearing it away.
The titanium root of a dental implant fuses with the jawbone and creates the same rigidity and stability as a natural tooth. The replacement root restores the function of chewing and provides the stimulation needed for the jawbone to grow naturally. Over time, it will protect the shape of your face and discourage bone loss. In some cases, it may even reverse current bone loss.
Dental Implants Are a Low-Maintenance Solution: The titanium root and the crown combination create a low maintenance solution for missing teeth. When you care for your teeth, through routine measures such as brushing and flossing daily, and regular checkups, you can expect your new teeth to last the remainder of your life. The new tooth is not susceptible to cavities, and other issues commonly seen with aging teeth.
Dental Implants Provide a Long-Term Solution for Missing Teeth: Dental implants can last the rest of your life, becoming a permanent solution for tooth loss. Dental bridges generally last between 5 and 15 years and require you to replace the full bridge provided the adjacent teeth remain healthy. Dentures typically need replacement every 5 to 10 years. Those with dentures also tend to experience more bone loss, which requires regular adjustments to keep them fitting properly.
While dental implants generally are more expensive than other procedures up front, in the long run, implants are a more affordable option because of the low long-term costs associated with the procedure.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants are superior to other procedures to replace missing teeth because they replace both the root and the tooth, giving you a solution that resembles your natural teeth in both look and function. Implants can restore your smile and improve your oral health.
Why do dentists recommend dental implants?
Dentists prefer dental implants because they provide a long-term solution that improves your smile and oral health for the remainder of your life.
Does food get under dental implants?
No. Unlike dentures, dental implants have an artificial root that secures the tooth in place. Care for the new tooth includes daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
Dental implants require you to have good oral health and a healthy jawbone. The dentist must be able to embed a titanium root into the jawbone to replace the root of your missing tooth. In some cases, the dentist may be able to graft the jawbone to build the support necessary for an implant.
Call for an Appointment
If you are ready to explore ways to rejuvenate your smile, or you just need a cleaning and x-rays, call today for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kevin Hogan graduated from the Indiana University School of Dentistry and has over 40 years of experience. He completed continuing education at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, a world-renowned comprehensive and aesthetic dentistry center. He has also finished extensive coursework with the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and lectured at both North Carolina and Emory University.
He is known for his artistic skill, professionalism, and ability to find the right solution for an array of dental challenges. Dr. Kevin Hogan is a cosmetic and restorative dentist serving patients in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina and the greater Charleston, SC areas.