Unfortunately, missing teeth are a reality for many Americans, regardless of how carefully they have tried to practice good oral care. One of the best treatments today to replace missing teeth is the use of dental implants.
Dental implants have become an extremely popular option for a long-term solution to missing teeth. They have an overall success rate of about 95%, and are replacing more traditional solutions like fixed bridges or removable dentures. Losing a tooth or teeth usually results in the destruction of the supporting bone which once held the teeth in place. The jaws shrink causing changes to appearance and often making the wearing of a conventional denture impossible. Dental implants do not contribute to bone loss. In fact, they are the only tooth replacement technique that actually serves to preserve the jaw bone.
Another big advantage of tooth replacement with implants is that the adjacent, neighboring teeth do not need to be touched. Fixed bridge work and removable, partial dentures depend on other teeth for anchorage and sometimes cause trauma to these teeth. Eventually a one tooth problem can become a three tooth problem when a bridge attached to neighboring teeth fails.
It is estimated in dental research that about 69% of American adults between ages 35 and 44 are missing at least one tooth. Additionally, one quarter of all adults over the age of 74 have lost all of their natural teeth. While several treatment options can be used to replace missing teeth, only dental implants can provide the full capability and functionality of a missing tooth. It's almost like growing back your real tooth!
Since dental implants cannot develop cavities or decay, they are considered to be the leading long-term solution to missing teeth. Post-implant care is still important. Patients should brush, floss and have regular dental visits to ensure the health of the gums surrounding implants and natural teeth.
Contemporary dental implants have proven to be safe and effective options for patients suffering from missing teeth. Unlike dentures, dental implants do not impede speaking, eating or smiling normally, and can return the face to its natural shape. More and more dentists are turning to implants as the best thing next to natural, healthy teeth. They're a long-term solution, and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Unlike bridges which often have to be replaced every seven to ten years, dental implants can truly stand the test of time. While they may require occasional adjustments and revisions of the crowns on top of the implants, they can be a permanent solution to missing teeth as long as they are cared for properly.
Since dental implants do require surgery, it is advisable to seek a trusted, well trained dental professional who can advise you of the risks and the benefits involved, and guide you towards healthy and safe treatment options in a safe and positive environment. Sedation anesthesia is available to make this a comfortable experience.