Do you have one or more missing teeth? Do you have bite problems or pain due to a missing tooth? Do you want a treatment option for missing teeth that provides a permanent solution? Have you been involved in an accident and lost some of your teeth? Do you suffer from periodontal disease and its effects? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, dental implants may be for you.
A dental implant is a small titanium post that serves as an artificial tooth root, and it is placed in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants bond with your natural bone and become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth (crowns), which are custom made to match your natural teeth in shape and color.
The use of dental implants has been traced back as far as 600 AD, and modern dental implants have been used successfully for many years. In general, if you are considering dental implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Dental implants are the only dental restoration that preserves, and stimulates the growth of, natural bone so you facial structure remains intact. Dental implants are the strongest devices available to allow artificial teeth (crowns) to feel, look, and function normally, and unlike other tooth replacement options (such as dentures), dental implants do not slip or click when you eat or talk. Currently, over 3 million people in the United States have dental implants, and the number of dental implants continues to grow by approximately 500,000 every year.
In comparison to dentures and/or bridges, dental implants have the following advantages:
- Dental implants are built to last. Dental implants that are properly cared for can last for decades. Dentures and/or bridges, in general, need to be replaced every 5 – 10 years.
- Dental implants are secure, so they won’t slip or move in your mouth. You will also notice that your speech is more natural, and with dental implants you can eat what you want and smile broadly with confidence.
- Dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth, and you brush and floss them just like natural teeth. Dental implant also help you retain your face shape.
- Dental implants stimulate bone growth and prevent bone loss, so getting dental implants as soon as possible after losing a tooth helps prevent bone loss at the site.
Dental implants can be a smart choice for adults of all ages, whether you were born without a tooth or have had to have teeth removed due to injury, infection or decay. It should be noted that dental implants can also be an option for adolescents, once facial growth and development has been completed.
Dental implants are a safe and effective way to replace teeth; however, dental implants are sophisticated dental devices and must be placed carefully to minimize complications. It is important you choose a dental implant expert, such as Dr. Pawlus, who has spent years receiving the proper education, training, and competency in implant dentistry.