If you have one or more missing teeth, your dentist may have suggested dental implants as a means of replacing them. Other options for tooth replacement currently include dental bridges and dentures.

There’s no doubt that, when it comes to tooth replacement, dental implants are hard to beat for the majority of patients and are viewed as the ‘gold standard’ option.

Why is this?

 

Dental implants replace your missing root

The roots in your natural teeth have several important functions. They hold the nerves and blood vessels that keep your teeth and their underlying structure healthy. Those nerves also help you to bite and chew effectively, and to sense when food is trapped between your teeth. In addition, your roots stimulate your jaw bone to maintain its density and strength.

Once you lose a tooth, you may find that you have to adjust your bite in a way that can damage your surrounding healthy teeth. Over time, you will also find that the jaw bone around the missing root begins to weaken and even break down until you end up with missing sections of bone. Once this happens, you might notice that your lips and profile around your mouth lose their definition, giving your face a sunken, ageing appearance.

When you have a dental implant placed in your jaw bone, it can help replace the function of a natural root by stimulating the bone to stay strong. Although dentistry is not yet sophisticated enough to give you back the missing nerve function, dental implants can help support your underlying facial structure, restore a correct bite, and help your speech to remain clear and unaffected by tooth loss.

 

Dental implants are strong and stay in place

Denture wearers often feel that they cannot eat certain favourite foods anymore because there’s a risk that their dentures might come loose or even break. Because dental implants are embedded into the jaw bone and then held in place by the bone strengthening around the implant, they are potentially as strong as your natural teeth and they won’t move.

 

Dental implants look natural

A dental implant is a post – usually made from titanium – that sits within the jaw bone. A piece called an abutment connects to the top of this post within the gum line and then your prosthetic tooth sits securely on top of the abutment. This prosthetic tooth will be carefully colour- and shaped-matched to complement your surrounding natural teeth. Once it’s in place, it is impossible for people to tell you have a false tooth because dental implants look as good as the real thing.

 

Dental implants are long-lasting

If you decide to have dental implants fitted, you will need to look after them properly. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and using a special interdental brush, especially if you have several teeth on an implant-retained bridge. Otherwise, you would need to floss your teeth.

As with your natural teeth, you should attend regular check-ups and hygienist appointments to ensure that your oral health stays in tip top condition.

With the right care, dental implants can last a lifetime. This means that, although they are more expensive than some other restorations initially, the treatment is highly cost effective when viewed over a lifetime. You are unlikely to need new restorations every few years, in the same way as you would with dentures, crowns or dental bridges.

If you have one or missing teeth and would like to discuss dental implants in Lancaster at Viva Dental, or you are interested in implant-retained dentures, call us on 01524 735 431 to book an initial consultation.