15th April 2015
Five benefits of dental implants to restore missing teeth
If you have several missing teeth, you may now face the decision of whether or not to have dentures, and may be considering whether dental implants would be a better option. It’s a question that comes up a lot when patients come into our Maidstone clinic to discuss oral implants.
You may be considering full or partial dentures because your existing dentist has advised you that they are initially less expensive than dental implants. You may also be concerned about needing surgery to fit your implants or want a quick solution to restore your smile.
Although these are all factors to consider, we would urge you to find out as much as you can about dental implants as they have a number of important benefits:
1. Dental implants help preserve your jaw bone
One of the consequences of tooth loss is bone loss, which happens when there is no longer a root to stimulate your jaw bone to grow and remodel. Once you have lost a tooth, this stimulation stops, eventually leading to missing areas of bone. In turn, this can affect your bite, your underlying facial structure and even your speech.
One reason that dentures can fit less well over time is because of bone loss beneath the gum. As far back as 1972, a 25-year study by Tallgren in Denmark showed that dentures can exacerbate tooth loss by up to 10 times faster in the first year after teeth are removed when a denture is placed over the ridge. Dentures on the lower jaw can cause bone loss at a rate that is four times faster than on the upper jaw, and bone loss continues year on year.
2. Dental implants are strong
Dental implants are fitted into your jaw bone where they are left for at least four months before we place a restoration on top of the implant. This is to give your bone time to ossify around the implant. Once successful ossification has taken place, you will find that your implant is almost, if not as, strong as your natural teeth.
Dentures cannot offer the same strength as dental implant, this is because they are not fixed into the jaw. However, implant-retained dentures can provide a greater level of strength.
3. Dental implants don’t move
One of the big complaints by denture wearers is that their dentures move or even drop when they are talking or eating. Although this can be corrected to some extent by regularly updating your dentures to make sure they’re a good fit, it is still an issue for many denture wearers.
4. Dental implants are easy to look after
Forget about scrubbing dentures and putting them in a glass of water overnight. With oral implants, once they’re in place, you simply look after them as you would your natural teeth. You may need to use a special interdental brush if you have several teeth on an implant-retained bridge but you will still use a normal toothbrush, floss and attend routine dental check-ups and hygienist visits.
5. Dental implants are cost effective
People often question whether dental implants are affordable. Although they do cost more than other restorations initially, they are also one of the more cost effective tooth loss solutions when viewed over a lifetime. This is because, with the proper care, oral implants have the potential to last for the rest of your life, whereas other restorations – including dentures – may need replacing up to five times across the same time period.