Do you have any missing teeth? Maybe more than one? Teeth require extractions usually for one of two reasons. Either due to extensive decay or due to progressive bone loss resulting from periodontal disease. Considering nearly half of our adult population struggles with periodontal disease, it is not surprising that nearly 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. In addition, 40 million people have zero of their natural teeth left and that in itself is a significant amount of tooth loss. It used to be that if you were missing teeth your only option for a replacement was a full or partial denture or a bridge. That is no longer the case with the way dentistry has evolved. Dental implants are usually the best option for replacing missing teeth now. They can be used to replace just one tooth or multiple. Sometimes they are used as an anchor to a denture or as part of a bridge piece. We’re sharing our top 5 reasons dental implants are your best option now!
Improved Quality of Life
Dentures just don’t fit. The majority of people who get dentures are rarely happy with them. They are very difficult to fit well and often slide around or click. A lot of people have to use an adhesive every day to keep them in place. Dentures are a burdensome and very hard to adapt to when you’re used to natural teeth. Implants maintain bone health and integrity, they keep the bone levels where they should be. When a tooth is extracted, over time the bone in that area will deteriorate. By placing an implant in its place you are able to maintain the bone, which is crucial for the surrounding teeth as well as aiding in preventing facial collapsing. As you can imagine when bone or teeth are lost it becomes more and more difficult to speak naturally and to chew food normally. Implants prevent this from ever being an issue.
Built to Last
Most restorations and even dentures aren’t made to last forever. Dentures will need to be altered or replaced as your bone diminishes. A bridge might last 5-10 years, but an implant can last a lifetime. If it’s properly placed the success of implants is near 98%, that’s about as close as you can get to a guarantee in the medical field. Implants have been around much longer than most people even realize, and the 30 year survival rate is now over 90%.
Preserve Remaining Teeth
As we said earlier, placing an implant maintains bone integrity and density, having a very low impact on the surrounding teeth. This cannot be said for bridges or partial dentures. A bridge uses 2 or more teeth to fill a missing space and potentially causes unnecessary drilling on those teeth. If anything happens to any of the natural teeth after the procedure, the entire bridge usually has to be taken out. A partial denture uses remaining teeth for support or as an anchor, which can cause gingival issues in your gums and places undue force on the natural teeth. An implant actually supports itself without adding stress to surrounding teeth by standing alone as a natural tooth would.
When done properly, an implant is not distinguishable from your other teeth. It could look similar to a crown, but most people won’t even realize that. It will look just as natural to others and most importantly feel natural to you. Once a crown is placed and your implant is complete, you won’t even think about it being different from your other teeth. It will feel as comfortable as having your own tooth or teeth back.
Because implants are titanium they are resistant to decay! This means once an implant is placed, if cared for properly, you never have to worry about it needing future treatment. Implants can still suffer from peri-implantitis (the implant version of periodontal disease), so it is important to maintain excellent home care habits and routine. If using regular floss, they need to be treated just a bit differently due to their contour, but this will be discussed with your dentist after the implant is complete. If you’re using a water flosser this is not an issue.
Dr. Carlile has placed many implants over his career and they are absolutely the best option for replacing missing teeth. Whether or not you are a candidate for implants depends on your existing bone structure and how much space is available. At 1111 Dental, we utilize a Cone Beam Scan to view exact bone level and make placement as accurate as possible. Once a cone beam scan has been taken we will have the information needed to determine if an implant is right for you. If you’re interested in replacing missing teeth, let’s discuss it at your next visit, or give us a call to schedule!
American College of Prosthodontists
American Academy of Implant Dentistry
UIC College of Dentistry