June 29, 2016
If you’ve ever lost a tooth for some reason, you know how annoying it can be. Your smile looks broken, eating certain foods can be a pain, and if the wrong tooth was lost, your speech could even sound weird. That’s why getting a replacement tooth in that empty space is so important. There are several choices out there, but at Appalachian Dental Care, we often recommend dental implants. Here are six rock-solid reasons why.
Reason #1: Natural-looking replacement: Some restorative dentistry treatments can look a bit out of place in your smile. For example, there are still dental offices that use metal amalgam fillings despite how they stand out in your mouth like a sore thumb. The replacement tooth we create for your dental implant is made from a lifelike, translucent material that looks identical to your natural enamel. Plus, the replacement is custom shaped to look just like the tooth that went missing in the first place. When you get a dental implant from our Boone, NC dental office, people will be hard pressed to figure out that it’s a replacement and not one of your natural teeth.
Reason #2: Younger-looking smile: Over time, your teeth collect lots of little cosmetic problems like stains or chips. If you look at the healthy smile of a young person, chances are you won’t see any of those. Dental implants, whether you get just one or use implants to support dentures or All-on-4 dental implant restorations, will use beautiful-looking replacement teeth that will take years off of your smile.
Reason #3: Keeps your teeth in place: Your teeth rely on each other for support. That’s why they are supposed to be right next to each other. When there’s a space in between your teeth like the one left by a missing tooth, that support is suddenly gone. The teeth on either side of the gap will start to slowly move toward that space, and in turn, the rest of your teeth will move a bit as well. By placing a dental implant in the empty space, you fill it with a natural-looking replacement tooth. This builds up that support your teeth need, helping keep all of them where they should be.
Reason #4: Stronger jawbone: All of your natural teeth have roots that extend down into a socket in the jawbone. When a tooth goes missing, there’s nothing in that socket anymore. Without the presence of a root, the bone tissue around the socket begins to deteriorate and small pockets start to form. This weakens the jawbone and can even require a surgical fix such as a ridge augmentation or bone graft. Dental implants use an artificial root made from titanium, a metal that your body won’t reject. By filling that socket with an artificial root and having a tooth again to chew with, your jawbone stays as healthy as it normally would.
Reason #5: A more permanent solution: While nothing lasts forever, there are differences in how long various dental treatments will last before they need to be redone or even replaced. For example, dental bridges can be used to replace a missing tooth, but they normally last only 10 years or so. But dental implants can last 20 years or more. Of course, there are many factors that affect these numbers, such as how well you take care of your teeth and what your eating habits are like. (If you’re chewing ice a lot, you will probably need a new treatment sooner.) But for many patients, dental implants can be considered a permanent treatment. And because the replacement tooth attaches to an abutment and then the root, we can usually just replace the tooth part if needed and not touch the implanted root.
Reason #6: Easy to keep clean: Some dental treatments require a special kind of tool or method to keep that part of your mouth clean and free from the food particles that help start tooth decay or gum disease. For example, braces usually need a tiny brush to get rid of food stuck on the brackets, and bridges can require a special plastic loop to draw floss underneath to keep that spot clean. But because dental implants are so close to being like real teeth, the only kind of care you need to worry about is the normal brushing and flossing like you already do.