Missing teeth can be disastrous for your smile or overall health. As a longtime Kennewick dentist, I have treated many patients with missing teeth. More than just the sight, missing teeth create a health risk. People with missing teeth cannot get the nutrition they need, and gaps in the smile can cause other teeth to become crooked.
If you have missing teeth, you may wear dentures or a bridge to cover the gaps. Today, I want to show you how dental implants can help your smile. I’m also going to compare dental implants with other tooth-replacement services. Whether you are missing one tooth or several teeth, we can place dental implants to secure your teeth and improve your biting force.
The Difference Between Dental Implants and Dental Bridges
Single missing teeth or multiple missing teeth can be treated with either dental implants or dental bridges. Bridges have been used in dentistry for more than 100 years. There is a massive difference between bridges and dental implants. Chiefly, a dental bridge is supported by other teeth while a dental implant fills the gap without relying on adjacent teeth.
A dental bridge is durable and strong, but the process is invasive. To place the bridge, we need to file down the teeth that will support the restoration. Then, we’ll create a restoration with three or more crowns and cement it in place. I don’t always advise patients with single missing teeth to have a bridge placed because I’d rather not shave down healthy teeth. Anytime you prepare a tooth, you risk problems for that tooth down the road.
Dental implants are made from titanium and naturally fuse to the jawbone. When the implant is placed and heals with the bone, we can then place a restoration — a crown, bridge, or denture. Though placing a dental implant is considered to be oral surgery, there is no need to prepare or file down adjacent teeth. The dental implants supports the restoration on its own.
Why Dental Implant Offer More Support Than Your Dentures
If you have dentures, you know about the struggles all too well. You can’t eat the food you really love, and you worry constantly about your teeth flying out of your mouth when your smile, laugh, or speak. Removable dentures are one of the oldest dental restorations, and while they have changed and advanced over time, they have ONE HUGE flaw: they are not secured in your mouth. Without the right support, you have no stability in your restorations.
Our office has treated countless patients with dental implants. We use dental implants to replace single missing teeth or to secure bridges. Dental implants are the only tool is dentistry that can nearly mimic the power of your natural teeth. With the improved biting force, you’ll be able to eat the food your love again. Studies have also shown that people living without teeth can shave 10 years off of their life because they cannot get the proper nutrition they need to live a healthy life.
Dental implants also preserve the jawbone. When people lose their teeth, the jawbone will recede. This is typically a fact people are not aware of until it happens to them. These jawbone changes will reduce the height between the chin and nose, giving the person a sunken in look. The end result is that you’ll much older than you truly are.
In the years of offering dental implants, we’ve found that the treatment:
• Gives patients more food options
• Preserve the jawbone
• Give patients back their youthful appearance
• Improve patients’ overall health
The good news is that most people with missing teeth are candidates for dental implants. If you have a thin jawbone, we can even provide mini dental implants. To see if our dental implants are right for your smile, call us today 509-591-0515.