Dental Implants: The Best Option for Missing Teeth
What makes dental implants the best tooth replacement option?
We use our teeth every day in simple but essential tasks like eating and speaking, and the appearance of our teeth even plays a role in our confidence and self-esteem. This is why, when it comes to something as important as replacing one or more missing teeth, it’s normal to want the best possible solution for you. You want to choose a tooth replacement option that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth. As you begin researching options, you’ll likely keep running into dental implants labeled as the best tooth replacement option out there.
Implants are widely regarded as the best option by dentists and patients alike because their unique placement in your jawbone, just like a natural tooth and its root, makes them the closest thing possible to regaining your missing tooth. But, why might you need an implant, and what really sets this tooth replacement option apart from the rest? We’ve put together a guide on dental implants to help you learn more about them and determine if dental implants near Edwardsville IL could be a good fit for you.
Reasons you may be missing teeth
Severe cavities, periodontal disease, and injuries, such as majorly cracked, broken, or even knocked-out teeth that can’t be reimplanted in your jaw can all lead to tooth loss. Although poor oral hygiene is the most well-known root cause of tooth loss, it doesn’t always come down to that. Sometimes there are other factors at play that can make you more susceptible to decay, including certain medications or health issues like autoimmune conditions or diabetes.
Additionally, arthritis or other joint conditions can make it hard or painful to floss well. This is why understanding your risk factors and talking to your dentist about them and the difficulties you’re having with tasks like flossing is so important! Dr. Hite can recommend methods to help lower these risks, improve your oral hygiene routine, and make it easier using tools like a water flosser.
Implants are a versatile tooth replacement option.
One reason dental implants are such a popular way to replace missing teeth is that they are so incredibly versatile. They can support a range of dental restorations, which means they can replace anything from a single tooth using a dental crown to multiple teeth using a bridge or partial dentures or even an entire arch of teeth using implant supported dentures. This versatility allows them to meet most people’s treatment needs, making them a great fit for many people.
Perhaps better, dental implants have an incredible success rate! After 10 years, the survival rate of implants is over 97%, and over 99% of patients expressed that they were pleased with the results of their implant placement. Those are stunning results for any surgical procedure!
Implants can improve your life in many ways
In addition to their versatility and amazing success rates, dental implants can make your daily life better in many ways. No matter what dental restoration you get placed on them, every restoration is custom-made with your input to ensure the size, shape, and shade of your new tooth or teeth is exactly what you want and complements your facial features well. This ensures that your new restoration either blends perfectly into your existing smile or that you’re able to create a new, naturally beautiful smile.
No one will even realize that you have implants, which will help you reclaim your confidence in your smile! Plus, implants provide deep-rooted stability that allows them to feel and function just like natural teeth. They’re strong and secure like a natural tooth, so your implant won’t budge as you go about your day. Even implant-supported dentures won’t shift or click while you eat, speak, or laugh, making it easy to perform these tasks—and with confidence!
They protect your oral and overall health for a lifetime
Dental implants improve and protect your oral health in many ways, and since they last a lifetime as long as they’re cared for properly, they’ll keep doing so indefinitely. Like other tooth replacement options, dental implants partially do this by filling the gap in your smile, which prevents your remaining teeth from shifting into it. This prevents your bite from shifting, which could protect you from potential TMJ issues down the road. Dental implants also protect your oral health in ways that no other tooth replacement can. They can reduce your risk of developing cavities or gum disease by preventing the formation of gaps that would make it hard to brush and floss your teeth effectively.
By taking the place of your natural tooth roots, dental implants also take up essential jobs that your roots used to do, like stimulating your jawbone as you chew. This stimulation is essential to the health of your jawbone—it’s what tells your body to continue sending nutrients to the bone there. Without it, your body begins reabsorbing the bone where the missing tooth is. Over time, it’s this process that gives denture wearers’ jaws that distinctive, sunken-in appearance.
Dental implants prevent this look, keeping your jawbone strong and healthy for a lifetime. Additionally, your oral health impacts your overall health, as untreated issues like periodontitis can increase your risk of developing health conditions like cardiovascular disease and can make it harder to control diabetes. As a result, dental implants help protect your overall health as well.
They have more of an upfront cost but cost less long term.
Although it’s true that dental implants initially cost more than options like bridges or traditional dentures, they don’t need to be replaced. Once you get implants, you have them for a lifetime. You may eventually need to replace the dental restoration on your implants due to wear and tear, but this usually only happens every 15 years or so.
In contrast, bridges generally last about 10 years, potentially longer if you take great care of them before they need to be replaced, while traditional dentures generally need to be replaced every five to 10 years. Traditional bridges also come with maintenance costs. Bone loss in your jaw changes the way your dentures fit, making them looser over time, so they need to be examined and potentially adjusted every year to ensure that they continue fitting your mouth well. These costs add up over time, so it’s important to consider this when you’re deciding between tooth replacement options.
If you’d prefer to get dental implants near Edwardsville, IL but are worried about affording them, don’t be afraid to ask our team for an estimation of how much they would cost after insurance, or speak to Dr. Hite about financing options.
Are you a good candidate for implants?
Because of how versatile, successful, and beneficial implants are, the biggest restriction to being a good candidate for implants comes down to the bone density in your jaw. Since dental implants are embedded directly in your jawbone, they need healthy bone density to support them. If you’ve suffered bone loss in your jaw, you might need a bone graft before you can receive a dental implant. Additionally, dental implants may not be the best option if you have a health condition that slows down your healing process or increases your risk of infection.
Despite this, many people are good candidates for dental implants. If you’re interested in dental implants and unsure whether they’d be right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hite. He’ll perform an exam on your teeth and jaws and discuss the pros and cons of the procedure with you. Dental implants’ unique qualities mean that they go above and beyond when it comes to replacing missing teeth.
From improving upon the advantages that other tooth replacement options offer to providing benefits that are completely unique to them, it’s easy to see how dental implants gained their reputation for being the best replacement option for missing teeth. If you’d like to learn more about dental implants near Edwardsville IL and find out if they’re right for you, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hite at Hite Family Dentistry at any time.