A dental implant is a surgical component that attaches directly to your jawbone to support a prosthetic tooth. Implants are typically made of titanium due to the metal’s biocompatibility, which reduces the risk of the implant corroding when it gets exposed to bodily fluids. Titanium also allows for osseointegration, the process in which the jawbone creates a strong physical bond with the metal implant. Once the implant is integrated, it acts as a strong artificial root that holds the prosthetic tooth in place.
Dental implants are mainly used for single tooth restoration as well as dental arch restoration. By replacing missing teeth, implants can improve how one eats, speaks and smiles. Because of this, dental implants can be a huge confidence booster for many people.
That being said, implants also have a variety of other benefits that go beyond appearances and aesthetics. That’s why, in this blog, we’re going to have a look at how dental implants can improve your oral health. So, here are five advantages of dental implants.
- Can replace a missing tooth
When a tooth falls out, it exposes a part of your gum tissue. This exposed tissue can become infected and cause a range of problems including gingivitis as well as periodontal disease, a severe form of gum disease.
If these issues are not treated properly, they can spread through your entire body. Complications of periodontal disease include heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.
Fortunately, with dental implants you can replace the missing tooth and protect the vulnerable gum tissue, significantly reducing your risk of developing serious gum diseases.
A missing tooth can also make you self-conscious about your appearance. This can lead to decreased confidence and increased social anxiety. It might change the way you socialise with other people. For example, you might not smile as much or you might even avoid social situations altogether. All of this can affect your personal relationships as well as your work life.
Luckily, most dental implants are indistinguishable from natural teeth. With implants, no one would be able to tell that you’ve lost a tooth and are now wearing a prosthetic. This can help self-conscious individuals regain their confidence.
- Can help with broken teeth
Common causes of fractured teeth include bruxism and dental trauma. Though it may not fall out completely, a severely fractured tooth will likely be compromised in terms of functionality. For example, if you have a cracked tooth, you’ll often experience pain or discomfort while chewing. A fracture can also make a tooth more sensitive to hot and cold fluids.
Even more concerning, a broken tooth might make you avoid certain foods that are difficult to chew or bite into. If you’re not careful, this can lead to nutritional deficiencies in your diet.
Unfortunately, a severely fractured tooth is often unsalvageable and will need to be replaced. In the case of a broken tooth, implants are a much more viable solution compared to minor restorative methods like fillings. Dental implants are permanent and have a lower risk of breaking down prematurely. Fillings, on the other hand, tend to break down quickly due to wear and tear.
- An alternative to dentures
Dentures are a much cheaper alternative to implants. However, they do come with their own set of problems. For example, some dentures will not fit your mouth perfectly. Not only are ill-fitting dentures uncomfortable, they can also slip out while you’re eating or speaking. Poorly fitting dentures can also rub against your gums, leading to infections and other oral health problems.
With dental implants, you won’t have this problem. Since they are implanted directly in your jawbone, they will always remain securely in place.
While getting implants can be a lengthy and involved process, once the implants are in place, you will eventually stop being conscious of their presence. Because of this, implants are a much more comfortable option than dentures in the long term.
- Helps with bone loss
The action of chewing and biting stimulates your jawbone and promotes the growth of new tissue. Unfortunately, when this stimulus is removed due to tooth loss, tissues will stop growing and the jawbone will begin to resorb into the body. The resorption of the jawbone can then cause an individual to develop a ‘sunken-in’ face.
Since most dentures don’t stimulate the jawbone directly, plenty of people who use them can experience bone loss. This means they’ll likely develop hollowed-out cheeks and sunken mouths. Additionally, the skin around the mouth can start to sag, the chin can jut out and the upper lip can become puckered.
Through dental implants, you’ll be able to prevent such bone loss. Unlike dentures, implants are embedded directly to the jawbone. Thus, by using your implants to chew, you’re essentially recreating the same type of jawbone stimulation that a natural tooth provides.
Unfortunately, though bone loss can be stopped, in most cases, it cannot be reversed.
- Can help with tooth infections
Tooth infections can come about due to a variety of reasons. This includes poor diet, poor dental hygiene, injuries and illnesses. A tooth infection often comes in the form of a dental abscess, which is a confined build-up of pus.
To treat dental abscess, your dentist might perform a root canal treatment. This involves drilling a hole in the tooth to drain the abscess and clean the canal. If the infection is spreading to the nearby teeth, your dentist might also prescribe antibiotics. If the infection is too severe, however, the tooth will need to be extracted and replaced with an implant.
Though getting dental implants is more invasive, it does have a few benefits over root canal treatments. For example, a root canal-treated tooth can become reinfected. On the aesthetic side of things, a treated tooth can also end up being darker than the rest of your teeth.
With implants, since you’re getting the tooth replaced completely, the risk of reinfection is reduced significantly. Also, since implants use white prosthetic teeth, you won’t have to worry about discoloration. If you think implants can benefit you, be sure to talk to your orthodontist. They should be able to advise you if the procedure is right for you. In the meantime, make sure you’re routinely taking good care of your teeth. Seeing your dentist for regular cleaning, getting fluoride treatment and brushing everyday can save you a lot of money and pain.