Dental treatment options have drastically improved over the past few decades. Patients with missing teeth can now have low-cost dental implants fitted into their jawbone to simulate a natural tooth.
While this positive development has garnered much praise, the prohibitive costs are a major deterrent to most patients. With dentures and other dental prosthetic options available, many people forgo dental implants in favor of these other fittings.
It is always advisable to speak with your dentist before any decision regarding all dental treatment options.
For example, a feeble jawbone requires a bone grafting procedure before any dental implants are fitted.
As a patient, you should always evaluate your need for dental implants in the context of the bigger picture
Take a missing front tooth, for example. A traumatic accident or dental cavities might erode the tooth structure beyond the possibility of repair. Such missing or badly rotten teeth can present an unsightly appearance that can affect your self-confidence.
For an individual with missing teeth, a simple smile becomes a gesture that causes embarrassment and anxiety. These feelings can greatly affect self-esteem.
While other temporary dental fixes can suffice, dental implants can provide a more permanent solution.
Benefits of Dental Implants
As mentioned, the significance of healthy and gleaming teeth to one’s appearance cannot be overstated. Missing teeth will be detrimental to your self-esteem. Dental implants help to resolve this issue by providing a substitute that’s almost identical to natural teeth. Moreover, such implants can be colored to match the natural color of your other teeth, making it nearly impossible for people to differentiate between them.
While aesthetics are the obvious benefits of a visibly good dentition, the state of your jawbone structure is also critical, though often ignored.
Missing teeth cause the other healthy ones on the same jawbone side to gradually shift out of position. Over time, this phenomenon can result in an altered facial appearance.
Dentists strongly recommend that missing teeth be replaced as soon as possible to avoid this scenario.
2) A Lasting Solution
While the process of dental implantation can take months, it can provide a one-time, lifelong solution to missing teeth. At the very least, a dental implant can last for many years if it is properly cared for.
Many people prefer dentures and bridges because of the seemingly less stressful procedure of having them. While dentures may be easy to fix and maintain, several issues can arise from their improper use. Dentures that regularly slip out of position, for example, are common. This phenomenon can cause great annoyance. An individual with dentures may need to re-adjust their chewing habits to ensure that their dentures are less likely to slip out of position regularly.
Dental implants have no such drawbacks once you recover completely from the procedure.
While dentures are fixed with future replacement as an option, dental implants are fixed to ensure longevity.
3) Controlling Bone Loss
Losing bone density and structure are serious issues that can result from having missing teeth.
Much like the body’s skeletal muscles, the jawbone needs the continuous chewing action of the teeth to sustain its density. Having missing teeth means that such regular chewing action in that specific jawbone spot is lost. This loss of chewing activity will gradually cause the bone in that spot to waste away.
Having dental implants is the only dental treatment option that can remedy this wasting of the jawbone.
A bone graft process is performed before affixing dental implants if your dentist deems the jawbone as not robust enough.
This bone grafting will facilitate the fusing between the metal post of the implant and the living bone tissue (osseointegration).
4) Speech Restoration
Rough and unpleasant sounds are characteristic of speech patterns in people with missing teeth.
Normal speech requires the lips, tongue, teeth, and all associated muscles working in tandem to produce audible and coherent sounds.
Missing front teeth, in particular, can harm elocution.
Dental implants can help solve this problem by ensuring the proper orientation of front teeth for proper word pronunciations.
5) Chewing Function
Dental implants can help restore the regular chewing patterns of teeth. While dentures are a popular choice, they tend to move out of position from time to time. Such movements cause irritability and discomfort, making proper chewing very challenging.
Dental implants do not present such problems. Once affixed, they are almost indistinguishable from natural teeth in both chewing function and appearance.
All in all, it would seem that the combined benefits of having dental implants outweigh the enormous costs associated with their placement.