Millions of Americans are suffering tooth losses despite improvements in dental care. This is mostly due to teeth decay, periodontal diseases, or injury. Bridges and dentures were the only options for missing teeth for many years. Today, however, dental implants are now available as one of the best ways to replace missing teeth. While dentures are removable, dental implants provide permanent new teeth to restore your mouth’s function and appearance. Dental implants offer a natural feel and lasting solution to the loss of some or all of your teeth.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants are metal posts that are surgically implanted into the jawbone underneath your gums. After they have been placed, our cosmetic dentist will be able to mount replacement teeth on them to achieve a long-lasting and natural feel. Dental implants replace tooth roots, which are an integral part of a healthy smile and jawbone. They do not replace the crown or visible portion of the tooth, as traditional restorations such as bridges and dentures.
Dental implants are able to prevent the loss of jawbones and stimulate bone and tissue growth. This will create a stronger foundation for your smile. Implants can be used to anchor life-like restorations, which look, feel and function exactly like natural teeth. Implants can replace one missing tooth with a crown and an implant, multiple missing teeth using an implant-supported bridge, or complete sets of teeth with implant-supported dentures.
Why You Should Replace Missing Teeth
Replacing missing teeth is crucial for maintaining both your oral health and overall well-being. While it may be tempting to ignore a missing tooth, it can lead to a host of complications and long-term consequences if left untreated. Here are several compelling reasons why you should prioritize replacing missing teeth:
- Restored Functionality: Each tooth in your mouth plays a vital role in chewing and speaking properly. When a tooth is missing, it disrupts the balance and coordination of your bite, making it challenging to eat certain foods or speak clearly. By replacing the missing tooth, you can restore proper functionality, allowing you to enjoy a diverse and nutritious diet while communicating with confidence.
- Preservation of Jawbone: Your teeth provide essential stimulation to the underlying jawbone through the forces generated during biting and chewing. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone is no longer adequately stimulated, leading to bone loss over time. This can result in changes to your facial structure, a sunken appearance and even compromise the stability of neighboring teeth. Dental implants, for instance, help prevent bone resorption by integrating with the jawbone, preserving its strength and integrity.
- Maintaining Proper Alignment: Teeth rely on each other for support and alignment. When a tooth is missing, neighboring teeth can gradually shift and tilt into the empty space, causing misalignment and bite irregularities. This can lead to issues such as malocclusion, jaw pain, and an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease. By replacing the missing tooth, you help maintain proper dental alignment and prevent potential complications.
- Enhanced Aesthetics: A missing tooth can significantly impact your smile’s appearance, leading to self-consciousness and a decrease in self-esteem. Whether it’s a visible front tooth or one that affects your smile’s overall symmetry, replacing it with a natural-looking prosthetic option can restore your confidence and improve your overall facial aesthetics.
- Improved Oral Health: Gaps left by missing teeth create additional spaces where food particles and bacteria can accumulate, leading to a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, the surrounding teeth may become more susceptible to damage due to the increased pressure they have to bear in the absence of a neighboring tooth. By replacing the missing tooth, you can maintain better oral hygiene and reduce the chances of developing oral health issues.
- Long-Term Cost Savings: While the initial cost of replacing a missing tooth may seem like an investment, it can save you significant expenses in the long run. Ignoring a missing tooth can lead to more extensive dental problems, requiring complex treatments that are often more costly. By addressing the issue promptly, you can prevent additional complications and avoid potential financial burdens down the line.
In conclusion, replacing missing teeth goes beyond cosmetic benefits. It ensures the proper functioning of your mouth, preserves jawbone health, maintains dental alignment, boosts self-confidence, and contributes to your overall oral and general well-being. Consulting with our dentist in Bedford will help you explore the most suitable replacement options tailored to your specific needs, ensuring a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants provide a variety of benefits that will help you help you look and feel your best. Our dentist will provide you with all the information you need and answer all the questions you might have, but for now, here are some of the top advantages of dental implants:
- They look and feel identical to natural teeth
- They function similarly to a natural tooth
- They last longer than other restorative treatments (e.g traditional dentures)
- They help to support your facial structure and prevent shifting caused by missing teeth
- They are easy to maintain
- They have a success rate of approximately 98%
- They are more cost-effective than other restorations that may need to be replaced in the long-run
Can I Get Dental Implants?
Dental implants are possible in most cases, provided that the patient can have a routine or full-blown oral surgery. Strong gums and enough bone must be present for the implant to work. Patients must be committed to good oral hygiene and regularly attending dental appointments both before and after this restorative treatment. For safety reasons, our dentist will need to evaluate patients who smoke heavily, have chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, or have received radiation treatment to the head/neck before deciding if this treatment is possible.
When Can I Not Get Dental Implants?
While dental implants are a highly effective and popular solution for replacing missing teeth, there are certain situations in which they may not be suitable. Here are some instances when dental implants may not be recommended:
- Insufficient Jawbone Density: Dental implants require a sufficient amount of healthy jawbone to provide a stable foundation for the implant. If you have experienced significant bone loss in the jaw due to factors such as gum disease, long-term tooth loss, or atrophy, there may not be enough bone to support an implant. In such cases, bone grafting procedures or alternative tooth replacement options may be recommended.
- Uncontrolled Systemic Conditions: Certain systemic conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune disorders, or bleeding disorders, may affect the body’s ability to heal properly after implant surgery. It is essential to have these conditions under control before considering dental implant placement. Consulting with your dentist and healthcare provider can help determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants.
- Active Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Gum disease can compromise the stability and success of dental implants. If you have active periodontal disease, it is crucial to undergo appropriate treatment and achieve periodontal health before considering dental implant placement. Treating gum disease and maintaining good oral hygiene are essential for the long-term success of dental implants.
- Smoking or Tobacco Use: Smoking and tobacco use can significantly increase the risk of complications and implant failure. Nicotine restricts blood flow and impairs the healing process, making it more challenging for the implant to integrate with the bone. If you are a smoker or use tobacco products, your dentist may advise you to quit or significantly reduce your tobacco consumption before considering dental implant placement.
- Certain Medications or Medical Treatments: Some medications, such as bisphosphonates used for treating osteoporosis or cancer, can interfere with the implant healing process. Additionally, certain medical treatments like radiation therapy to the head and neck region can affect the success of dental implants. It is important to disclose your complete medical history to your dentist to determine if any medical factors might affect your eligibility for dental implants.
- Insufficient Oral Hygiene Habits: Maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial for the success of dental implants. If you have a history of inadequate oral hygiene practices or are unwilling to commit to meticulous oral care, dental implants may not be recommended. Implants require regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings to prevent complications such as peri-implantitis (inflammation around the implant).
It’s important to note that each individual case is unique, and a thorough examination by our dentist in Bedford l is necessary to determine your eligibility for dental implants. We will consider factors such as your overall oral health, medical history, and specific circumstances to provide personalized recommendations for tooth replacement options that best suit your needs.
Is the Procedure Painful?
Many people who have had dental implant treatment say that it is almost painless. We can provide Sedation during your procedure. Many patients find that dental implants are much less painful than having to have their teeth removed/extracted. Over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol, Motrin, and Motrin can be used to treat mild soreness after a tooth implant.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants have the potential to last up to 20-30 years, often even a lifetime, when proper care is taken. Their longevity depends on factors such as successful osseointegration, which is the fusion of the implant with the jawbone, diligent oral hygiene practices, balanced bite forces, overall health, and regular dental check-ups. By maintaining good oral hygiene, seeking timely professional care, and following your dentist’s instructions, you can maximize the lifespan of your dental implants and enjoy their benefits for an extended period.
We Offer Dental Implants In Bedford, TX!
Here at Meadow Park Family Dentistry in Bedford, Texas, our dentist believes that a smile tells a thousand words, and we are dedicated to giving our patients high-quality dental care. We are able to provide different dental implant solutions depending on your specific needs. We will conduct a thorough assessment and discuss your options with you during your scheduled appointment.