While dentures are the traditional option for replacing missing teeth, they are not the only option that you should consider. Dental implants offer several advantages that are causing them to grow in popularity. Here are four of the greatest benefits of using dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Healthier Jaw Bone
Your natural teeth play a big part in keeping your jaw bone healthy. The roots of your teeth stimulate the jaw bone as you chew, causing your body to constantly heal and replace the cells in the jaw bone. When you lose a tooth, the jaw bone below the missing tooth is no longer stimulated and will be gradually resorbed by the body. This deterioration of the jaw bone can progress to the point that adjacent teeth loosen and fall out.
Unlike dentures, dental implants will stimulate the jaw bone and prevent it from deteriorating. The screws of dental implants are installed directly into the jaw bone, and fuse with the jaw bone through a process known as osseointegration. The jaw bone closes firmly on the screw to anchor the implant in place, and the screw stimulates the jaw bone in the same way as the root of a natural tooth.
No Dental Hygiene Changes
Compared to your natural teeth, dentures require a lot of extra care to clean them without damaging them. Additionally, normal toothpaste and firm-bristle brushes can create scratches that allow bacteria and food particles to build up more easily. Safe denture cleaning requires a nonabrasive cleaner and a soft-bristle brush, or a more expensive ultrasonic cleaner.
Choosing dental implants lets you avoid the tedious task of maintaining dentures. Porcelain crowns are actually more stain resistant than your natural teeth, and they can be cleaned with normal brushing and flossing. Maintaining good dental hygiene and visiting your dentist for regular check-ups is all it takes to prevent discolored implant crowns.
Dentures that do not fit properly can lead to constant discomfort. As your dentures scrape against your cheeks and lips, they can create painful sores and cause an infection known as denture-related stomatitis. No matter how well your dentures fit when you get them, they can warp if they are exposed to heat or if they do not remain moist at all times.
Dental implant crowns are designed to fit your mouth perfectly and will not change shape over time. Before your implants are installed, your dentist will use a CT scan to create a 3D model of the implant site. The crown is fabricated based on this model to ensure that it does not crowd adjacent teeth or scrape against the sides of your mouth.
No Food Restrictions
One of the biggest downfalls of dentures when compared to natural teeth is that they are less durable than your natural teeth. This means that you need to take extra care when eating certain foods to avoid cracking or chipping your dentures. Severe damage from eating hard foods can make repair impossible without ruining the fit of your dentures, forcing you to replace them.
Dental implants eliminate the need to worry about eating hard foods. Most implant crowns are made of porcelain that is nearly equal to enamel in hardness and durability. Common problem foods such as popcorn, hard candies, and unpeeled apples can be eaten without the risk of expensive damage to your dental work.
Dental implants greatly improve on the comfort and convenience of traditional tooth replacement methods. If you are looking for the best replacement option for missing teeth, talk to your dentist to determine if dental implants are the right solution for you.