If you’re missing teeth, you may be ashamed to show off your smile. However, you don’t have to settle for a subpar smile. Instead, dental implants can provide a permanent solution to the problem, so you can feel confident again. That said, before you get any major dental work done, it’s imperative to understand what it is and how it works.
So, with that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are medical devices that are surgically implanted into a person’s jaw. The primary purpose of a dental implant is to replace a missing or decayed tooth. Because of how dental implants are attached to the jaw, they are considered a permanent solution. While it’s possible to remove an implant, it’s not recommended.
Implant vs. Crown vs. Bridge
When looking at different dental procedures, you may come across several options, including crowns, bridges, and implants. Here’s a quick overview of each option so you know the difference between them.
- Implant – During the procedure, the dentist will access the jawbone through the gums and install the base of the implant. Then, they will attach an abutment, which will serve as the foundation for the crown. The implant goes into the jaw and replaces the tooth.
- Crown – A crown is a covering for a tooth (or dental implant). Crowns are ideal if you have a decayed tooth that could worsen without protection. Because there’s not as much work involved, crowns are more affordable than implants, but they don’t replace the tooth.
- Bridge – A bridge consists of both crowns and artificial teeth, similar to dentures. However, instead of fitting around your entire mouth, a bridge only covers a section of it. Bridges are best if you’re missing multiple teeth, as they’re much more practical than getting multiple implants. The bridge stays put by using crowns on either side that fit over your existing teeth.
When to Get a Dental Implant
The best reason to get a dental implant is if you’re missing teeth. It doesn’t matter what caused your teeth to come out (i.e., decay, injury, disease), as the implant can replace it permanently. However, if you have advanced tooth decay because of a disease or habit (such as smoking), an implant won’t keep your other teeth healthy.
Realistically, it’s best to get individual implants. If you have multiple teeth missing in a row, you may consider a bridge or dentures. Not only are dental implants more expensive, but it’s not good to put your body through multiple surgical procedures to avoid stressing it out too much.
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many reasons why a dental implant may be better than a crown (or keeping the gap between your teeth). Those oral health benefits can include:
- Easier to Chew – When you’re missing teeth, it’s harder to eat, particularly when you’re chewing on tough foods. An implant is a strong structure, so you can chew as well as you can with the rest of your teeth.
- Prevent Shrinkage – If you leave a gap between your teeth, your jaw will start to shrink to compensate for it. So, installing an implant can help prevent this shrinkage, which could cause complications with the rest of your mouth.
- Helps Preserve Oral Health – Your teeth aren’t just there to help you chew food—they’re part of a larger system of teeth and gums. Having missing teeth can lead to decay and deterioration of the surrounding area. Installing an implant can keep your mouth in check and prevent further damage.
- Better Smile – Your smile can create confidence, but missing one or more teeth can reduce that confidence. Implants allow you to have the smile you deserve so you always look your best.
Let Herbert Family Dentistry Help You Recover Your Smile!
Although there are many reasons to invest in a dental implant, it’s not always the best solution. At Herbert Family Dentistry, we want you to look your best while also preserving your oral health. We can discuss the risks and benefits and walk you through the entire implant procedure. We can also provide regular dental checkups and cleanings so your teeth will always be in excellent condition. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to find out more about dental implants.