Each year, millions of Americans lose teeth to decay, injuries, and periodontal disease. In the past, the dentures and bridges were the only options available for replacing missing teeth. Today, dental implants offer an effective, long-term solution for missing teeth. Dental implants aren't a new idea. They've been around since the 1950s. However, today's dental implant technology is much improved over that of your parent's generation. If you're looking for a solution for missing teeth, here are three advantages that dental implants have over other treatments.
Dental implants fit, feel, and function more like natural teeth, compared to other options for replacing missing teeth. Because the implants fuse to your jaw bone, they provide a strong, stable base for your replacement teeth that can withstand biting and chewing without sliding. Other options are not as natural and can interfere with certain daily activities, such as eating nuts and seeds. In addition, other options can lead to bone deterioration over time.
Keeps Natural Teeth in Tact
Some options, like tooth-supported bridges, require the dentist to grind down some of your other teeth, while dental implants don't. This means dental implants leave more of your own teeth intact, which over the long-term improves your oral health. In addition, your dentist can place individual implants, which improves access between teeth, benefiting overall oral hygiene.
Options such as dental bridges last about five to seven years on average. After that time you'll need to have them replaced. On the other hand, dental implants are meant to be a permanent solution, so they can last a lifetime. Of course, you'll need to take care of them properly and may need periodic adjustments. However, you won't need replacement the way you would with bridges and other solutions. Your dentist will teach you how to maintain your implants so that you have a hassle-free experience.
What to Expect
Placing a dental implant is an outpatient procedure that involves two or three steps. Your dentist will first use special bone grafting material and graft it onto your jawbone. Then you will go through a healing period that typically lasts several months. The graft will create new, strong bone to ensure that your implant can be placed securely. Once the bone graft is complete, your dentist will place an extension of the implant post, which is called an abutment. The soft tissue will need time to heal, but after it does, your dentist will place your final teeth.
To learn more, schedule an appointment with a dentist at a clinic like Oral Surgery Center.