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Dental Implant 101: Things To Know Before You Decide

While dentures used to be the go-to solution for missing teeth, that's not necessarily the case anymore. As technology advances dental care, more options are becoming available. Dental implants are one of those options. For people who are looking for a more permanent solution than dentures or something easier to deal with, dental implants may be the best option. However, it's important that you understand the process and set reasonable expectations for the outcome. Here's a look at some of the things that you should know ahead of time if you're thinking about dental implants.

Implants Preserve Your Jaw Bone

One of the things that many people don't realize is that your jaw bone relies on your teeth for its general health and well-being. The roots of your teeth are secured in the jaw bone, so they provide natural bone stimulation when you eat and use your teeth. As teeth are extracted, gaps are left in the jaw bone where there's no stimulation source. This can cause bone deterioration and bone loss over time.

Dentures don't offer any solution for this problem because they only sit on top of your gums. Implants, on the other hand, can help to preserve the health of your jaw bone and encourage its natural growth because the implant post is inserted directly into that bone. Osseointegration, which is the healing process, actually fuses your jaw bone with the implant post so that the two become one like your jaw bone does with the roots of your teeth.

Implants Look More Natural

For many people, their hesitation with dentures stems from concerns about those dentures not looking natural. That's another one of the reasons why some people opt for dental implants instead. With dental implants, each crown is crafted to look like your natural teeth, and the implants fit like your natural teeth. That means far less worry about your implants being noticeable to others as compared to dentures. 

Also, you don't have to worry about implants "slipping" or shifting when you're talking with someone or having a meal, so there's far less chance that anyone will ever be able to tell that you don't have your natural teeth. If perception is a concern for you, talk with your dentist about dental implants as a more natural-looking replacement option. 

Implants Resolve Any Number Of Missing Teeth

Sometimes, people think of dental implants as only an alternative to full-mouth dentures. As a result, they figure implants aren't an option for them if they're only missing one or two teeth. The truth is that dental implants are a great solution no matter how many teeth you're missing. In fact, if you're only missing one or two teeth, dental implants can provide a replacement alternative that doesn't affect neighboring teeth.

Remember that a dental bridge, which is usually the alternative for some missing teeth, often requires modifications to the anchor teeth, whether it means grinding some of the tooth away or any other physical changes. Dental implants, on the other hand, don't affect the surrounding teeth at all.

Implants Are Easier Than Ever To Get

If you've been following dental implants since they first became available, you may have been hesitant to get them out of concerns for the discomfort of the procedure. Traditional dental implants are a significant undertaking that does require some healing and recovery time. However, as technology changes, so do these procedures.

Guided dental implant procedures are the latest approach to implant placement. The incisions required are much smaller, which means you often don't need any stitches at all. This means that the recovery is less painful, easier to manage, and less stressful for you.

These are some of the things that your dentist wants you to know about dental implants. If you're considering implants to deal with your missing teeth, you should schedule an appointment today to have your condition evaluated and see if you are a candidate.