Dental ImplantsUnfortunately, many people will face tooth loss or have already lost some of their natural teeth. Tooth loss can occur because of trauma or dental problems such as tooth decay or gum disease. Whatever the reason, it’s important to consider ways to replace missing teeth. Even the loss of a single tooth can affect the remaining natural teeth. Luckily, the good news is that we can often replace missing teeth using dental implants, which are the most advanced and up-to-date dental technology.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants1 are designed to replace an entire tooth artificially and that includes the tooth root. Their design ensures the replacement tooth has excellent stability and strength, and that it replicates a real tooth as closely as possible. The procedure is extremely versatile. Coeur d'Alene Dental Center adds, "Dental implants allow people who are missing teeth to be able to smile, speak, and chew well and comfortably." You can have a dental implant to restore a single missing tooth. If you are missing multiple teeth in the same area of your mouth, we can provide an implant-supported bridge. This means you do not need to replace every single tooth with a dental implant. People who are missing entire arches of teeth can choose to have an implant-supported bridge that is firmly fixed in place and which is only removable by our dentist. Alternatively, it’s possible to have an implant-supported denture that is removable but which clips firmly onto the implants, providing strength and stability in a very cost-effective way.

Dental implant treatment has several unique benefits listed below.

1. Protecting Your Jawbone

Your jawbone is a type of bone called alveolar bone and which is continually remodeling. When you bite or chew on your natural teeth, the forces travel through the crown of the tooth and into the tooth root, and from there they stimulate the bone around the root. The stimulation ensures that when old bone cells begin to die off, your body knows they must be replaced. When you lose teeth, this stimulation is lost, and the jawbone quickly begins to reabsorb.

Much of this resorption occurs during the first year, but it continues afterward. As your jawbone resorbs, the ridge of alveolar bone that used to support your teeth becomes gradually flatter and narrower. It provides less support for your facial muscles and tissues, and if you replace teeth with dentures, this bone loss can cause significant problems. Eventually, the dentures fit less securely as the ridge provides less and less retention. This is why people who have worn dentures for several years often find they begin to move around and to rub uncomfortably on the gums. Also, the pressure created by dentures resting on the gums accelerates bone loss.

Dental implants help to avoid this bone loss and have a protective effect on your jawbone. Because a dental implant so closely replicates a real tooth root, it continues to provide the stimulation needed to ensure old bone cells are replaced. The bone and gum are protected because implant restorations are supported by the dental implants and don’t rest directly on the gums.

2. Restoring Your Appearance

One of the most distressing things about tooth loss is the potential effect on appearance and especially when you lose teeth right in the front of your mouth. A gap can look unsightly, and most people will feel extremely self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth. Well designed dental implants look amazingly natural and may even look better than the teeth they replace! Your teeth have another important function as well, as they provide much-needed support to your facial muscles, and without teeth, your face may begin to collapse inward, creating unwanted lines and wrinkles. It’s an effect that can be prematurely aging!

Implant-supported teeth are designed to provide exactly the right amount of support for your facial features, helping to fill out and soften premature lines and wrinkles created by tooth loss. If you have lost multiple teeth and subsequently restore them with dental implants, you will probably find your facial appearance is rejuvenated.

3. Enhancing Your Quality of Life

People who have missing teeth often feel self-conscious, which can lead to a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence. When out and about in public, they will often cover up their mouth and will avoid meals with others because of the difficulties with eating comfortably. It’s an entirely different story once you have dental implants that look and feel fabulous. Self-confidence is restored, and you will find you want to talk, smile, and socialize with others far more frequently than before. Sharing meals with other people will become pleasurable, and especially as you can enjoy your food more fully.

4. Enjoy Better Nutrition

Anyone who has suffered complete tooth loss or who are missing multiple teeth will know it’s not easy to eat some foods. Often, people in this position will choose foods that are easy to chew and which tend to be softer, bland, and frequently lacking in nutrients. Without a proper diet, your body will find it harder to fight infection and disease, and the risk of digestive problems is higher. When you have a poor diet, it can negatively affect your overall health.

Dental implant teeth are strong and stable, making it easier to bite and chew foods that may have been off the menu for years. You will find you can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables once again, not to mention a big juicy steak. Your digestion may also improve because you’re able to chew your food properly as chewing food mixes it with saliva that contains digestive enzymes. Also, if you currently wear full dentures, you will probably find your food tastes better. Upper dentures especially can cover up taste buds, making it harder to enjoy your food.

5. A Long-Lasting Treatment

Lots of people who choose dental implant treatment will go on to enjoy their implant teeth for many years to come. Some will even enjoy these benefits for life. Dental implant treatment is extremely cost-effective in the longer term, not to mention all the benefits listed above.

6. Suitable for Most People

Perhaps best of all, dental implants are suitable for most people and can be especially beneficial for older people who may have worn dentures for years. You do need to have good overall health, and you mustn’t have any existing dental problems, but these are all things we can discuss with you during your initial consultation2 with Dr. Donald Nimz, here at McLoughlin Dental Care.