Millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss due to a variety of factors, ranging from periodontitis to sports-related injuries. Untreated tooth loss can lead to a number of other concerns, including speech problems, nutritional deficiencies, shifting of the bite, and loss of self-esteem.
In the past, treatment for tooth loss was limited to dental bridges or dentures. Due to technological advances over the last several years, another option is now available: dental implants. Dental implants are becoming increasingly common due to their longevity, durability, and ease of use.
What are dental implants?
First of all, implants are widely misunderstood. The actual implant is a titanium post that is surgically implanted in the patient's jaw. This post serves as a replacement tooth root. After placement, the artificial tooth root fuses to the bone surrounding it. This results in a secure anchor so that a replacement tooth (or teeth) can be attached to it. The result is a natural looking-- and feeling-- smile.
Why should I choose implants?
If you are missing one or more teeth, implants might be an excellent option for you. There are many benefits to dental implants. Consider the following:
- Aesthetic benefits. Unfortunately, many patients who are missing teeth report a loss of self-esteem. Often, they go to great lengths to avoid smiling. Implants help to restore a patient's natural smile and thereby also result in a boost in confidence.
- User friendly. Compared to removable dentures, dental implants are very low maintenance. They do not require additional care; patients can simply brush twice a day, floss daily, and attend their regularly scheduled dental check-ups.
- Long-lasting. Perhaps the best news is that dental implants are made to last! If well taken care of, implants can last a few decades-- or even a lifetime.
Need all your teeth removed?
It is often possible today to have all your teeth removed and replaced on the same day with fixed, dental implant teeth. With this technique called TeethXpress you never have to go without teeth. 4 or more implants are placed in the upper or lower jaw and fixed teeth are attached. Only your dentist can remove them. You can eat out, meet people, smile, and laugh like with natural teeth.
It's time to stop hiding your smile from the world! Contact us today to learn more about dental implants.
Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg Dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.