When one or more teeth are removed, a patient is faced with the decision of which replacement option will be the most advantageous for his or her situation. Aside from dentures or dental bridges, dental implants are an excellent replacement choice for multiple reasons. If you’re thinking about getting implants and wondering how they compare to other options, consider these five benefits associated with maintaining the best oral health with dental implants.
Dental Implants Provide Better Comfort and Functionality
Dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution for patients with missing teeth. In contrast, dentures are designed to fit over the gums and are removed and replaced regularly. Even with a great fit and using the right type of adhesive to reduce friction and keep the denture plates in position, irritation is a common complaint.
Once installed, dental implants are made to function just as natural teeth because the artificial titanium root is implanted into the jaw bone, eventually fusing. This procedure provides a durable anchor for the replacement tooth that will most likely last the rest of your life. The result is a more natural feel when chewing or speaking without any pain caused by friction or irritation.
The same features that allow implants to provide a greater level of comfort also make it possible to enjoy increased functionality. Since the dental implants are embedded in the sockets, they will not shift or move. This makes it all the easier to bite, chew food, and speak clearly without having to worry about slippage or other issues that may be a concern with other replacement options.
Dental Implants Do Not Require Special Maintenance
The permanency of dental implants makes such a difference with your daily dental hygiene routine. Because dental implants are fused to the jawbone and remain in position, caring for them is a lot like caring for your natural teeth. You will still brush your teeth regularly and use mouthwash whenever you like. However, you won’t have to learn new cleaning techniques or add extra steps to your routine, allowing you to keep up with your dental hygiene more easily. The regular removal of plaque and bacteria from your mouth results in much better oral health.
Flossing is something you will want to discuss with your dentist. Some recommend doing so with a little extra caution because the cementum layer that exists at the point where a natural tooth extrudes from the gum does not exist with an implant. For this reason, dentists who do recommend flossing will advise patients be careful when running the dental floss against the gum line.
Dental Implants Preserve Bone Density
When a tooth is extracted, there is an empty socket and bone left behind. The part of the bone that surrounded that tooth will begin to degenerate and weaken with time if there is nothing there to support it. Eventually, the jawbone will reduce in size and lose overall density which can lead to a whole slew of issues. In order to prevent the bone from deteriorating, dental implants can be used to fortify the area and support a replacement for the missing tooth.
This is important since a loss of jaw bone density translates into an increased risk of breakage. You will need to be more careful in terms of avoiding direct hits to the lower part of the face and consuming certain types of crunchy or hard foods. Without a dental implant in place, you also run the risk of having your other teeth shifting and becoming misaligned. This could affect everything from the way you chew to the shape and contour of your facial structure. With dental implants, you avoid the loss of bone density and shifting of other teeth because the implant fills the empty socket and fuses with the jaw bone permanently.
Reducing the Risk of Tooth and Gum Disease
Think for a moment about what can happen to the natural teeth surrounding an empty socket where a tooth was extracted. More of these teeth are exposed to bacteria that could lead to decay. At the same time, the socket could provide one more point of entry for bacteria to get into the gum tissue. The result could be inflamed tissue and gum disease that’s quite painful, as well as detrimental to your oral health.
Dental bridges and dentures often provide more hard-to-reach areas for bacteria to build up. In fact, dentures may even cause irritation and broken skin that could create a breeding ground for bacteria and infection if not cleaned properly. However, once a dental implant has healed completely, the empty socket is no longer exposed, and the teeth and areas between the teeth can be cleaned easily.
Self-Confidence and Your Oral Health
There’s a clear connection between self-confidence and practicing good oral hygiene. When a person feels healthy and confident in their appearance, they’re more likely to take self-care more seriously. Regarding aesthetics, dental implants offer a more natural and comfortable appearance for those with missing teeth. This is often a significant boost for patients who are embarrassed by their smiles due to having a missing tooth for a while.
As a result, practicing a thorough oral hygiene routine becomes a priority for many patients who are given a second chance at a beautiful and complete smile. Dental implants provide this opportunity while also allowing people to eat and speak more confidently.
Indirectly, dental implants also help to improve the ability of your body to absorb vitamins and minerals. That’s because you can chew more efficiently with implants. Your body is able to break down the food and harvest those nutrients. Just as those nutrients benefit other areas of the body, they also help to keep teeth and gums healthy.
Before making any decisions about replacing natural teeth, talk with a dental professional to see what option will work best for you. As with any dental procedure, success could depend on several factors that you and your dentist will need to consider. If dental implants seem like the ideal option, your oral health will also benefit in ways in which other replacements may not offer.