Why choose implants to replace teeth?
Dental implants are the modern way to permanently replace dentures or teeth lost to decay, disease or trauma. Implants don’t have the drawbacks of other tooth replacement methods because they look, feel, and function just like a natural tooth.
Consider the pros and cons of the alternatives:
- Do nothing. This may seem like a good option, especially if the tooth is in the back and out of sight. There are several drawbacks, however:
- A missing tooth can affect your confidence, smile, chewing, and the way you talk.
- The gap in your teeth can affect the appearance of your face. Your gums will recede and the bone in your jaw may start to degrade. This gives a “sunken” look to your jaw and face which can make you look and feel years older.
- Your bite may be affected as the surrounding teeth shift to fill the gap.
When you needed to replace teeth next to each other, a bridge is a common and effective treatment method that used to be the best available option. A bridge is actually one or more artificial teeth that sit on top of your gum. They are attached and held in place by crowns on the adjacent teeth on either side. Unfortunately, these anchor teeth that hold the bridge in place need to be shaped into posts to hold the crowns, which means shaving off healthy natural tooth. Also, since the gap remains below the gums, a crown can’t prevent the bone degradation caused by missing tooth roots.
Denture or Partial Denture
Dentures, full and partial, are another effective tooth replacement technique. Until dental implant technology became widely available, they were the best option for replacing several or even all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. Similar to bridges, dentures sit on the gum, and offer no protection from the bone degradation caused by the absence of tooth roots. Dentures can also fit poorly, slip out of place, and cause pain and discomfort.
Dental Implants are the superior option in every way because they look and function just like natural teeth. The presence of the implant below the gumline prevents bone degradation, and the gap in your smile is filled with teeth that look indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth. The adjacent natural teeth remain untouched. Your dentist has implant treatment options available for replacing one, or any number of teeth, in a way that is permanent, secure and complete natural-looking.