Losing teeth is difficult emotionally and physically.
You may feel embarrassed or ashamed when you are missing multiple teeth. It also impacts your life by limiting the foods you can eat.
So what can you do to feel better and continue eating the foods you love once again? You can get dental implants.
If you don’t know what dental implants are, we’ll explain below. If you know what dental implant are, but aren’t sure if you should get them, keep reading.
The dentist and staff at Marineland Dental Care want all our patients in and around Kennewick to have the best quality of life they can. And we know how good (or bad) oral health can affect your lives.
What dental implants are
For those of you who may have heard of dental implants or who just learning about them for the first time, they are a prosthetic tooth.
If you were missing a leg or foot, you would get an artificial one to help you walk again. If you are missing a tooth, you get a dental implant instead.
Dental implants replace the roots of your teeth. The root is the part of the tooth below the gumline. The root serves as a kind of anchor to hold your tooth in your jawbone.
Modern dental implants are made of titanium because of a discovery made decades ago. When titanium is placed inside a bone, a process called osseointegration occurs. During this process, the bone bonds directly to your implant. This holds the implant firmly in your mouth.
Implants can be fitted with a dental crown (to replace a single tooth), a dental bridge (to replace multiple teeth), or dentures (to replace a complete arch of teeth).
The benefits of dental implants
Dental implants offer a number of benefits for your health. We’ll start with the oral health benefits.
When the implants are placed in your jaw, the bone bonds to the implant. The occurs because your implant stimulates the bone just like the roots of your natural teeth. This stimulation spurs new bone growth, which keeps your jawbone healthy and strong, and that help your neighboring teeth as well.
When you lose teeth, you don’t have anything to stimulate the bones in your jaw. DearDoctor.com published an article by Dr. Carl E. Misch explaining what happens if you don’t replace your missing tooth.
You can lose up to 25 percent of the bone width in the area where your tooth is missing. As this bone loss continues, nearby teeth may become loose and fall out. This starts another cycle of bone loss over a wider area of your mouth.
You can imagine what happens if you let this continue.
A dental implant can preserve the health of your bone, which helps your overall oral health.
Dental implants are a long-lasting solution as well. In that same article, Misch wrote about the failure rates of various dental procedures.
A survey of fixed partial denture wearers showed failure rates as high as 20 percent after three years and 50 percent after 10 years. By comparison, patients with implant-supported partial dentures reported failure rates of less than 1 percent after 10 years.
That should give you some idea how secure dental implants are.
That security means you have the foundation to hold your teeth in place. It also means that you can have confidence that your crown, bridge, or dentures will remain intact no matter what you eat.
Bone density and your implants
We’ve already spoken about how tooth loss can affect your bone density. This affects whether we are able to place dental implants in your jaw, too.
If your bone density is sufficient, we can place an implant or multiple implants depending on your needs.
If you’ve lost too much bone, we have a couple options. One would be to perform a bone graft by moving bone from one part of your mouth to the area where it is needed.
The second option is to place mini dental implants instead.
As the name suggest, mini dental implants are smaller than standard implants. In this case, mini implants are about half the diameter of other implants. This means they can be placed without the need for a bone graft.
And mini implants can be used for the same reasons as other implants. Mini dental implants can support crowns and bridges, or they can be placed strategically to hold a set of dentures in place.
Eat, drink, and be merry
With dental implants or mini dental implants you are doing what you should to maintain and possibly improve your oral health.
When you have your implants in place, you will smile like you did when all your teeth were real. Plus, you will be able to eat anything you like without worry that your “teeth” will come loose.
If you live in or near Kennewick, you owe it to yourself to call our dentist at Marineland Dental Care to learn about our implant options. Contact us by calling 509-591-0515 or using our online form to make an appointment.