What are dental implants?
Dental implants are actually nothing more than just metal screws that are placed into the jawbone. They act as anchors for a false tooth or a set of false teeth. However, these are not just ordinary metal screws but are made of titanium metal which are highly compatible with our bone and oral tissues. They also have the ability to “fuses” with the jawbone through a process called “Osseo- integration” causing little tissue inflammation or rejection.
This bonding between the titanium metal piece and the jawbone make dental implants very strong and long lasting. There is no problem with slippage which means that you can eat and speak with comfort and confidence. When a dental implant restoration is perfectly constructed, there is practically no way in differentiating it from a natural tooth. They look and feel just like your very own.
Why dental implants are gaining in popularity over the use of dentures and bridges?
Traditionally, to solve the problem of missing teeth, dentures would be used. But there are many problems that come with the use of dentures. Slippage and discomfort are the main complaints.
Then we have the dental bridging. This is considered a better alternative to dentures where you have a false tooth or teeth fused between 2 porcelain crowns to fill the gap left by the missing tooth or teeth. But again there are problems too and these include a loose fit, porcelain fracture, an opening near the gum-line, improper shape or color, and difficulties with the teeth that are supporting them.
Dental implants have none of these problems. They are more natural looking replacement for missing teeth and they are able to function like natural teeth. Moreover, with proper care, just as you would do for your natural teeth i.e. brushing, flossing and regular check ups, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Here are some listed benefits of having dental implants:
1. Help maintain face structure
When teeth are lost, the bone that held the original natural teeth begins the process of resorption and this causes shrinkage of the jawbone. When this happens, your mouth tends to have that “caved in” appearance and the face looks somehow distorted. With dental implants, they serve to stimulate the jawbone just like your natural teeth, preventing bone resorption and facial distortion.
2. Help to boost your self-confidence
A dental implant has the power to transform the way a person feels about himself/herself. With lack of teeth, a person may feel inferior and they tend to shy away from looking another in the eye. They may also have trouble communicating trying to keep their mouth partially closed so as not to expose their missing tooth or they have the tendency to supress a smile and so on. With dental implants, you will look better, feel more comfortable and your self-esteem and self-confidence would be restored as a result of this
3. Enable you to enjoy food again
Without teeth, you would have difiiculty with biting and chewing and food doesn’t seem to taste as good. Using dentures do not help much as they tend to move and slip while chewing. With dental implants, it’s permantanently fixed and they won’t loosen which means it restores the strength of your bite so that you can practically eat any food without having to worry that it will move, slip or hurt your gums.
4. Help to protect your other teeth
Dental implants don’t sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a bridge does because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant. Only the empty tooth cavity is dealt with directly leaving the rest of your own teeth untouched. This brings a significant long-term benefit to your oral health!
5. Help deter further tooth loss
When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth begin to drift, moving into the gap created by the missing tooth. Over time, this can lead to further tooth loss and other problems. A dental implant in place will prevent this and helps maintain better oral health.
6. Long Lasting and easy to maintain
A dental implant can easily last for 20 years and no special treatments are required to maintain them. They are easy to take care of. All you have to do is just treat them as you would your normal teeth. Brush them well and regularly, using a good brand of toothpaste. Flossing and regular visits to your local dentist where early signs of trouble can be spotted by your dentist and dealt with will keep your dental implants in good condition.