How dental implants can improve your smile
Have you ever wondered about the benefits of dental implants and why your dentist may suggest this as an alternative to other treatments, such as a partial denture or bridge?
The impact of missing teeth
Losing teeth changes the way you smile and the shape of your face, causing the look of premature ageing and it can have a big impact on your smile and confidence.
Use of an implant will prevent the original teeth moving incorrectly into the gap that needs to be filled, as our teeth naturally move to fill spaces in the mouth. Dental implants are used to help to retain your face shape and smile. When a tooth is lost, the jawbone beneath it shrinks from the lack of stimulation.
Although implants can appear costly in the short term; the long-term benefits and how long they last are an encouraging factor to deciding which treatment you take. Implants if they are well looked after (by attending regular check-ups and brushing properly), can last for many years. Bridges on the other hand have been known to have a lifespan of five to ten years, all dependent upon the upkeep and maintenance which a bridge needs over time.
Key features of a dental implant
- Dental implants are made of natural looking material and reflect like your original teeth.
- Implants are fixed and permanent, unlike dentures which can be removed.
- Implants do not move or shift within the mouth, giving greater confidence to those that wear them and long term support.
- They are a fairly new, sought after cosmetic procedure.
Why consider an implant over a bridge?
You may be asking yourself how an implant is permanently placed… Your natural bone locks the implant into place, fusing or attaching itself to the implant. It is done during a surgical procedure performed by a specialist. There are follow up appointments afterwards to check on the healing and progress. It sounds daunting, but it really is amazing how our teeth and gums heal and accept the implant. The specialist will go through any of your worries or concerns during the consultation or throughout the procedure and after care sessions, so you are fully informed and reassured about the procedure.
Once an implant has been fitted, it protects the teeth surrounding it which are still in place. This differs in comparison to a bridge treatment, for example. The bridge is fitted by grinding away at the healthy teeth either side for the bridge to be supported, unlike an implant. Having a bridge does not prevent bone loss which is another reason people consider implants, which reduces the signs of ageing or other issues occurring. By having a bridge fitted, there is also a greater risk for cavities and problems and weaknesses occurring. So if a more permanent fix is sought after, implants are well worth considering.
Benefits of dental implants
Implants have many benefits:
- No cavities can occur in an implanted tooth, but they do still need to be checked regularly and treated as normal teeth would be.
- You can clean your teeth as normal with an implant fitted, instead of keeping them in a pot as you would with dentures.
- Dental implants are known to be the strongest device to help support replacement teeth, often materials such as titanium and other strong metals are used.
- Eating is not restricted once an implant has been fitted, however this differs with dentures.
I’m interested in an implant – what now?
If your dentist does suggest you consider implants, we recommend you booking in with on of our implant specialists, who will talk you through the procedure in a consultation. To talk through your options please find your nearest practice.
You can also find out more about dental implants on our dental implant FAQs.
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