If you’re missing one or more teeth, you’ve probably read a lot about dental implants as an alternative to traditional dentures and bridges. Implants are extremely popular among adults missing one or more teeth — and they’re growing more popular every year. In fact, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, about three million Americans have dental implants, and that number is increasing by about 500,000 annually.
Why so popular? Because dental implants have a lot of advantages. At Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center in San Francisco and Oakland, California, Brandon Kang, DDS, and Matt Chroust, DDS, MD, offer state-of-the-art dental implants using the most advanced materials and implant techniques for results that look, feel, and work just like your natural teeth. Here’s how implants could help you enjoy greater confidence and better oral health.
One of the main reasons people consider dental implants is because implants do a great job of restoring your confidence in addition to restoring your smile. Dental implants are secured to your jawbone using special anchors. The anchors act like a natural tooth root to hold the crown (or artificial tooth) in place when you talk, bite, and chew — even when you’re enjoying foods like chewy bagels or corn on the cob.
Traditional dentures rest on top of your gums. While they can help your smile look good, when it comes to eating certain foods, they’re at risk of slipping or popping out — even with a good adhesive. That makes it more difficult to feel completely at ease and confident when you’re enjoying a meal with friends. Sometimes, dentures can slip with other activities too, like talking or sneezing.
Implants are also more comfortable than dentures because they’re designed like your natural teeth. Dentures can wind up causing sore spots, and tiny particles of food can get trapped under a denture, creating a lot of discomfort. With an implant, you won’t have those problems. It really is like having your natural tooth back.
Although a natural-looking implant can go a long way toward restoring your beautiful smile, that’s not the only benefit implants offer. They can also help improve your oral health.
Since an implant works more like your natural tooth, it helps preserve your normal bite function as well. If you lose a tooth and don’t replace it, your bite balance can shift, leaving you at greater risk for chronic issues like jaw pain, headaches, uneven tooth wear, tooth damage, and tooth loss. An unbalanced bite is the primary cause of temporomandibular joint disorder, a chronic condition that causes a lot of jaw pain.
With an implant, your normal bite balance is maintained. You don’t need to relearn how to bite and chew like you do with a denture, and you can avoid the risks associated with an uneven or unbalanced bite.
Your tooth roots do more than keep your teeth anchored in place. They also help keep your jawbone healthy, stimulating the bone tissue replacement cycle that keeps your jaws strong. When a tooth is lost, that stimulation is lost too, and over time your jawbone can grow thinner and weaker. Thinner bone means your neighboring teeth can weaken also, leading to more tooth loss in the future.
Because dental implants act like a tooth root, they also help stimulate the bone replacement cycle in your jaw. That means the teeth on either side of your implant won’t suffer from thinning jawbone, so you can avoid the risks associated with tooth loss. Dentures and bridges sit on top of your gums, so they can’t stimulate bone replacement in your jaw. That means that even with a denture or bridge, your jawbone will continue to weaken, making it a lot more likely that those teeth will eventually fall out, as well.
Finally, because of their design, implants are a lot easier to take care of compared to dentures and bridges. In fact, you can care for your implants the same way you care for your natural teeth — regular brushing and flossing to keep the gums healthy, and routine trips to the dentist. There’s no need for special tablets, sticky adhesives, or regular fittings, and no hassles trying to brush around a fixed bridge. An easier, less complicated cleaning routine also means your teeth and gums stay healthier, so you can reduce your risks of cavities and decay.
Dental implants can be a great solution if you’re missing one tooth or several teeth. In fact, with implants you can support an entire row of teeth — upper or lower. To learn more about the benefits of dental implants and how they can help improve your confidence and oral health, call our office most convenient to you or schedule a visit online today.