Seven Benefits Of Dental Implants
Why an ever increasing number of people are turning to this excellent tooth replacement technique
There are essentially four options available for anyone who loses a tooth, or a number of teeth. These are leaving the gap as it is, having dentures, having a bridge fitted or having a dental implant placed. We don’t recommend the first option as leaving a gap in the teeth, however unnoticeable it is, is not a good idea and can lead to issues such as misaligned teeth over a period of time.
Both dentures and bridges have been around for a long while and both fulfill the role of replacing a missing tooth to some degree. Neither are without their drawbacks though, with dentures sometimes being uncomfortable and potentially unstable for some wearers, whilst a bridge can require healthy teeth to be prepared so that the bridge can be attached.
At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic, we believe that, in most cases, dental implants offer the best option for our patients. They do require some minor dental surgery, followed by a longer healing time, but overall this relatively modern treatment provides perhaps the best long term solution for replacing missing teeth.
Let us take a look then at some of the most significant benefits of having dental implants to replace missing teeth.
Although implant placement is a fairly lengthy procedure compared to most dental treatments, it also provides a long lasting solution to the problem. Unlike many teeth restorations which may need replacing after a few years, dental implants can last for twenty years or more once they have become successfully integrated with the jaw bone. This will depend largely on how well you look after them but fortunately this is quite straightforward to do and requires no fiddly cleaning, unlike dentures for example. We will look more at the cleaning of implants a little later.
Strength and stability
Whilst dentures and bridges offer a certain level of strength, they come nowhere near to the strength of teeth implants. This means that, once fully integrated, you can use your dental implant exactly as you would a healthy natural tooth. This strength is also related to the stability of the tooth. Whilst dentures can sometimes move around in the mouth a little, the implant replaces the root of the missing tooth and provides an extremely secure anchor for the crown to be attached.
Although there may be a short transitional period following the placement of the implant where things might feel a little strange, once you have become accustomed to your new replacement tooth, there is no reason why you will even need to think about it anymore on a day to day basis other than to clean it properly. Most of our Canterbury patients who have had this treatment some years ago tell us that they now see it as ‘just another tooth’.
The implant itself is usually made of titanium and is largely hidden beneath the gum line. What you do see though is the crown that is attached to it. At Bradley and Partners Dental and Implant Clinic we use only high quality dental crowns which are strong, stain resistant and natural looking.
Ability to eat
One of the biggest drawbacks of dentures is that, after trying a little, many people give up on eating certain foods because they are difficult to chew with their dentures. This is not the case with dental implants and there is no reason why you should avoid your favourite food, however ‘tough’ it is to chew. A healthy implant will manage this just as easily as a healthy natural tooth would.
Retention of jawbone
A major difference between both dentures/bridges and dental implants is that implant placement is the only one that replaces not just the crown part of the tooth but the root too. Placing an artificial tooth root means that the bone in that area is not reabsorbed by the body as is the case for dentures and bridges. This avoids the likelihood of teeth movement and changes to the shape of the face.
Ease of cleaning
Both dentures and bridges are quite fiddly to clean and make doing so a laborious process. Dental implants on the other hand require none of this and can simply be cleaned as you would a natural tooth.
Although the implant and crown are made from artificial materials, it is important that you take care to clean both your teeth and your implant well. Although the implant itself can’t deteriorate, the gums and surrounding bone can still degrade through periodontal problems. This could result in a weakening of the bond between bone and implant and could even result in the implant failing. Diligent brushing, flossing and seeing a hygienist every six months should be sufficient to help maintain a healthy tooth implant.
If you would like to know more about implants or have any questions about the treatment, we can help. An initial consultation with our implant dentist can be arranged for those considering this popular treatment. To arrange yours, please call our Canterbury dental clinic today on 01227 463529.