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Dental Implants – What Are They?

What’s the Deal With Dental Implants?

Dental Implants

What is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are a much more permanent way to replace missing teeth in the mouth. Before dental implants became commonplace, other methods of replacing your teeth that were more invasive, and less permanent, were the norm. Bridges have been used extensively in the past as an aesthetic way to add a tooth to your smile. However, one of the downsides of the dental bridge is that healthy tooth structure from neighboring teeth needs to be removed in order to place them. A dental implant on the other hand needs no such work on teeth surrounding it. It also has the benefit of keeping the jaw bone, where it is located, from resorbing (essentially, dissolving). There is, of course, great benefit to keeping healthy bone structure intact. When bone resorption occurs in the jaw, it can alter the placement of teeth, and thusly, your bite. When your bite becomes altered other problems can arise, such as: your jaw becoming sore, headaches, tooth sensitivity, bruxism and tooth wear, speech may change, etc.

Dental implants look natural in the mouth, they keep your bone structure intact, implant crowns are very aesthetic, and they are easy to clean around. They really are a step-up in treating patients with missing teeth. In dentistry we can also place full dentures that are secured with dental implants. You don’t have to use any other types of messy adhesive pastes to keep them in your mouth. Implants really are a long-term solution to tooth loss.

Cosmetically speaking, (I touched on this above) dental implants help keep the natural shape of your face and smile by keeping the jaw bone from resorbing. The crowns that go on the dental implants can be whatever shade you like, they can be whiter than your old teeth, or you can keep them the same shade…it’s your preference. You don’t have to remove the dentures or implants at night like with traditional dentures. Best of all, dental implants will fill those gaps caused by missing teeth, which will also help with speech problems which can arise when you are missing teeth. You can have a full, natural looking smile again.

Some other benefits include:

  • Dental implants crowns cannot decay – No need to worry about cavities with these.
  • You can bite just like you would with natural teeth – No need to worry about how or what you are eating. Dental implants are strong and durable, and will not just come out because you may be eating something sticky like peanut butter. They are secure…not like traditional dentures.
  • Dental implant treatment has a long track record of success in restoring missing teeth – Dental implants have a reputation of being much more predictable than other forms of tooth restoration or replacement.

 In Closing

There are many different ways to “add a tooth” to a spot/spots in your mouth that are missing one. However, dental implants are by far the most thorough, and permanent solution to the problem. The amount of time/cost spent (in the long run) of getting dental implants for yourself is far less than handling the myriad of problems that can arise from having to continuously address the issue that missing teeth are causing in your mouth. In the end the choice is yours, I’m just giving you my two cents on the matter – and that is: get a consult with your dentist on dental implants. It’s usually free (as it is here at our Dupont Circle dental office), and the doctor can let you know if, and what needs to be done to receive them, and if you can, how to get started. Dental implants can remedy many different things that those with missing teeth have trouble with, I would be remiss not to mention these benefits to you.

Read more about dental implants here.

Stay healthy my friends.

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4 Responses

  1. I have loose teeth as a result of gum disease I was told that most of my teeth need to be removed.

    1. Usually with the more advanced stages of gum disease, you have bone loss around the teeth. This will cause the teeth to become loose. Implants can still be placed though, usually after bone grafting is done to help rebuild some of the lost bone from the gum disease.

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