Benefits of Dental Implants
The Most Lifelike and Durable Solution for Missing Teeth
Dental implants are the strongest, longest-lasting and most lifelike tooth replacement option available today. They feel and function just like natural teeth, and with proper care can last a lifetime. Dr. Chantry considers them the best of all available replacement options, and usually recommends them as the best long-term choice for patients who are eligible to receive them.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a titanium post that is inserted into the jaw to function as a replacement root for a missing tooth root. A connecting piece known as an abutment is placed on top of the implant and serves as the attachment point for a dental crown, bridge or denture.
After the implant is placed, the surrounding bone cells grow and integrate (fuse) with the implant surfaces, firmly anchoring the implant in the jaw. The fully integrated implant is just as strong as a natural tooth root.
Benefits and Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants have many benefits and advantages that make them superior to other tooth replacement options:
- Dental-implant-supported teeth usually have biting and chewing power equivalent to that of natural teeth.
- Dental implants function like natural tooth roots, and the replacement teeth they support look, feel and function just like natural teeth. Most people cannot tell the difference between their implant-supported teeth and their natural teeth.
- Dental implants prevent bone loss in the jaw that normally occurs underneath missing teeth. Preserving bone volume maintains the size and shape of your jaw.
- Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant and a crown removes the need to grind down and weaken adjacent teeth, as is necessary when placing a dental bridge.
- Implant-supported teeth fill the gap created by a missing tooth, and keep the adjacent teeth stably in position. Teeth adjacent to a missing tooth can otherwise shift position into the gap, creating problems with your bite alignment and ability to chew.
- Implant-supported dentures are firmly held in place, need no messy adhesives, provide significantly enhanced chewing power and preserve bone volume in the jaw.
- Dental implants last longer than any other tooth replacement option, and with proper care they can last a lifetime.
Dental Implants Compared to Dental Bridges
Dental bridges have been one of the long-standing conventional methods of filling the gap left by a missing tooth or several missing teeth in a row. However, bridges have several disadvantages.
For a bridge to be placed, the teeth on each end of the gap have to be ground down so the bridge can be cemented onto them. This weakens those teeth considerably, and can lead to decay, fracture or other complications over time. Additionally, dental bridges have an average lifespan of only seven to ten years.
Implant-supported replacement teeth, however, do not require the grinding down of adjacent teeth. They also transmit chewing pressure stimulation to the jaw, which is needed to maintain the bone volume around the tooth—something bridges cannot do. And dental implants, if properly cared for, can last a lifetime.
The Problems with Dentures as Replacement Teeth
In order for the jawbone to maintain its density and volume, it must continually receive the stimulation that comes from biting and chewing. When teeth are missing, that pressure stimulation is absent and the bone in those areas gradually dissolves away. When all teeth are missing, the entire jaw loses height and thickness over time, and the lower third of the face can eventually take on a “collapsed” and aged look.
Traditional dentures do not provide the type of stimulation needed to maintain the bone volume in the jaw. Unfortunately, the pressure created by dentures actually accelerates the bone loss and facial collapse. Facial collapse shortens the distance between the nose and chin and causes the chin to protrude. It also causes the lips to become thin and excess wrinkles to form around the mouth and face. Extreme bone loss can additionally make you more susceptible to jaw fractures.
Additional disadvantages of dentures
Traditional dentures have numerous other disadvantages which often make them the least preferred option for replacing missing teeth:
- Dentures only provide about 15 percent of the chewing power of natural teeth. This makes it impossible to eat all the foods you need for proper nutrition without having to use a blender or mash up the food.
- Dentures often click and make odd noises when you eat or talk.
- Dentures usually need messy creams and adhesives to keep them in place.
- Dentures often slip while chewing, which can lead to painful sores on your gums.
- Denture plates for your upper arch have a false palate that covers the roof of your mouth. This dulls your sense of taste and blocks your perception of heat and cold while eating and drinking.
- Since your jawbone continuously shrinks while wearing dentures due to lack of proper stimulation, dentures have to be repeatedly relined, refitted or replaced. The shrinkage can reach a point where no denture can be made to fit well.
Implant-Supported Dentures Provide Increased Stability and Chewing Power
Dentures can be supported by implants, so that they are anchored firmly in your mouth. This creates a stable foundation for the denture and significantly increases chewing power. The chewing pressure placed on the implants also stimulates the underlying jawbone and helps preserve bone volume.
Depending on your needs or preferences, Dr. Chantry can give you either implant-supported removable dentures or fixed-in dentures. Both types provide significantly enhanced chewing power, though fixed-in dentures are the strongest option as they provide nearly the full chewing power of natural teeth.
Complimentary Dental Implant Consultation
If you have missing teeth or teeth that are in need of extraction, take advantage of our Complimentary Dental Implant Consultation. You can find out more about dental implants and learn about all the treatment options that are available. Your visit will include:
- Oral examination
- Limited X-rays if necessary
- Consultation with the doctor
- Learn about treatment options
- Get your questions answered
Call to request an appointment: Elk Grove 916‑249‑0360 • Davis 530‑601‑4201 • Yuba City 530‑491‑4448, or click here to request an appointment online.