Dental implants are tooth replacements that look, feel, fit, and function like natural teeth. There are a number of benefits to using dental implants instead of other tooth replacements, such as removable dentures or bridges.
About 3 million people in the United States already have dental implants, and another 500,000 get dental implants each year. Modern dental implants use high-tech materials to create strong, natural-looking tooth replacements.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that hold a natural looking crown. Dental implants have three main components:
- Artificial tooth root – a screw-shaped titanium rod that a dentist surgically implants into the jawbone; in time, the rod fuses with the bone to create a sturdy anchor
- Abutment – fits over the tooth root and acts as a connector between the artificial root and the crown
- Crown – an artificial tooth that looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth
Who needs implants?
Dental implants are for anyone who has lost one or more teeth and who want a permanent solution for missing teeth. Dental implants may even be right for adolescents whose facial growth and development have completed, which is usually around the age of 16 for girls and 18 for boys.
Dental implants are right for nearly everyone, except for young people whose jaws are still growing, pregnant women, heavy smokers, and those with certain health conditions. A dentist can help anyone with missing teeth determine if dental implants are the right choice.
For most people, though, dental implants provide a number of benefits over removable dentures or bridges.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer a number of benefits over removable dentures, bridges, and other approaches to replacing missing teeth.
Missing teeth can ruin an appealing smile. Dental implants improve smiles by replacing missing teeth. In some cases, the crowns look better than the patient’s natural teeth.
Natural look and feel
Dental implants have the look and feel of natural teeth. In most cases, they are indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Many people have trouble speaking with missing teeth and even with removable dentures. Removable dentures can slip and slide inside a person’s mouth as he or she speaks, which can cause slurred or unclear speech. Dentures can also “click” as the wearer talks. Because dental implants anchor to the jaw, they cannot move to impair speech, and this gives dental implant patients more confidence while speaking.
Because they fit and feel like natural teeth, dental implants are significantly more comfortable than removable dentures or bridges. Dental implants never slip, slide, or allow food between the plate and gums.
Missing teeth can make eating certain foods, such as chewy meat or crunchy vegetables, difficult or even impossible. Removable dentures can allow food to slip between the denture plate and the gum, which can cause pain. Dental implants are strong and sturdy enough to bite and chew almost any type of food, including sticky buns and taffy to crusty breads and hard candies.
Easy to care for
Taking care of dentures and bridges is time-consuming and inconvenient, and often requires the use of special denture brushes and soaking solutions. Taking care of dental implants is as easy as taking care of natural teeth.
Having missing teeth is embarrassing. Many people with missing teeth avoid smiling, talking, and eating in front of others. Those with removable dentures often feel embarrassment when their plate slips, or when they have to take out their dentures for medical procedures or for other reasons. Since dental implants are permanent, they can never slip or slide, and they never need removal.
For more information about dental implants, schedule a consultation with a dental implant expert.
Williams & Daily Dental is a family and cosmetic dentist located in North Raleigh, NC with a team of dedicated dentists enthusiastic in their commitment to their patients. We offer dental implants, Invisalign teeth straightening, in-office and home teeth whitening options, and Oral-B electric toothbrushes. Contact Williams & Daily at (919) 846-9070 for more information and to schedule an appointment today.