What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants are growing in popularity as an option to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are made of titanium, or a titanium alloy, and are used to replace the roots of a lost tooth. Titanium has a propensity for bonding with bone.

Your dentist can attach an artificial tooth to the implant once it is bonded. The replacement tooth has the look and feel of a natural tooth, and is designed to last a lifetime. Also, the implant will not decay.

Dental implants can preserve or restore your smile. People with missing teeth are often reluctant to smile, avoid talking in public settings, and avoid eating in the presence of others.

Missing teeth are a source of great embarrassment for most people. People who have lost a tooth, but want to look their best, retain their confidence, and keep their poise in public can benefit from a dental implant. An implant can preserve their natural, radiant smile.

Tooth loss is often the result of bone deterioration. The loss of one tooth can lead to the loss of other teeth. A dental implant can stop bone loss, stabilize the bone and promote bone growth.

Dental implants can also provide support for dentures, both full and partial. Essentially, the dental implant serves as an anchor for the denture plate, or bridgework.

The loss of a tooth reduces your chewing capacity and places additional stress on the remaining teeth. Chewing may be uncomfortable and may cause injury to the exposed gum. The additional stress may also lead to damage, or failure, in some of the remaining teeth.

A dental implant can restore your chewing surface, decrease stress on other teeth, eliminate chewing pain and protect your gums.

The space left by a missing tooth can cause other teeth to become misaligned. So even if the missing tooth is in the back of your mouth and is not visible, it can still eventually ruin your smile. An implant can help keep your teeth aligned, help protect gum tissue and help the jaw retain its shape.

Advantages Over Dentures

Some people get a dental bridge to replace a lost tooth because the initial cost is often lower than the cost of a dental implant. But most authorities view the implant as superior to a dental bridge.

A bridge requires that the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth must be ground down to have caps placed over them. Often these adjacent teeth eventually fail from the stress of the bridge and because they have been weakened by the size reduction.

Bridgework also is not anchored to the bone so it can slide and move, resulting in gum injury and soft tissue damage. Nor does bridgework enhance bone stability as an implant does. Bridgework also wears out and often must be replaced.

When you add it up, not only are dentures and bridgework inferior to implants, they can also cost you significantly more money over your lifetime.