Is A Dental Implant Right For You?
Thanks to Dr. Smith’s extensive training along with our state of the art dental imaging, dental implants are a safe, effective, and functional way we can restore our patient’s smiles at Spokane Dental. You may have heard of dental implants, but we know it can be a big decision when weighing the options to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A dental implant is an excellent choice for many of our patients. Here are some facts to know if an implant is right for you:
You Are Missing a Tooth or Teeth
This may seem like the most obvious qualifier, but many people don’t realize that dental implants are an option for them when facing a tooth extraction. The amazing thing about dental implants is they virtually look and act like real teeth. A small post is fitted into the jawbone where the tooth is missing, and the crown is placed on that post. The implant essentially acts as a tooth with a root (the post), and makes chewing normally a possibility.
If you are missing a tooth or teeth, but want to have the look, feel, and function of real teeth implants may just be right for you. A dental implant is the only dental restoration that completely replaces a tooth, making it a great option to get back to normal eating habits as well as your smile.
You Want Normalcy
That sense of normalcy is often a driving factor for patients choosing implants. One of the hardest parts of tooth extraction or a missing tooth is this loss of normality. You have to change where and how you used to chew, and for some people even what you eat. This can greatly affect day-to-day life. Having a gap in your smile can also impact some people’s quality of life as well. With a dental implant, you can get back to feeling “normal” again. Food can be enjoyable to eat with no worries, and your smile can shine as beautiful as before your missing tooth. A dental implant is designed to look like a real tooth as well, so visually no one would know you were missing a tooth.
Even your oral homecare routine can remain much the same as with a normal tooth. While a bridge can be difficult to clean under, an implant can be brushed the same as a natural tooth. Just choose a low-abrasion toothpaste and soft bristled toothbrush to care for the implant. As far as flossing goes, using “superfloss” (floss with a soft, fuzzy middle) in a shoe-shine motion will remove any unwanted plaque.
You Want To Maintain The Rest of Your Teeth
Dental implants can be a single tooth replacement, or replace multiple teeth and even be seated to hold fixed dentures. The bone in the jaws that actually holds the teeth in is called “alveolar bone”. To maintain healthy levels of alveolar bone, it must have pressure applied regularly to the tooth roots through chewing. Without a tooth applying this pressure, the bone will resorb.
With the post acting as a tooth “root” in a dental implant, the bone levels can be maintained. The fact that a dental implant acts very much as a normal tooth while chewing is an enormous benefit to the teeth surrounding it, or in the alveolar bone levels in patients with dentures.
When a tooth is lost or extracted, the bone will begin to resorb and endanger the bone levels of the teeth around it as well. When a patient is missing all of their teeth, their alveolar bone will also resorb, which can cause changes in the facial profile of the patients as well as lead to ill-fitting dentures. Dental implants can be placed as posts to hold a fixed denture, which means that when the patient chews on their denture it will be applying that normal, necessary force to the alveolar bone. Thus keeping healthy bone levels as well as the patient’s facial structure.
You Want a Permanent Fix
Among the many benefits of dental implants is the fact that it is a more permanent fix to a missing tooth. A bridge is another common fix for a missing tooth or teeth, but often not as long lasting. Whereas a dental implant replaces the missing tooth, a bridge involves a crown on top of the teeth adjacent to the missing one, with an attached faux crown acting as a “bridge” over the hole. Eventual bone loss where the missing tooth is can compromise the teeth still in tact next to it, and may need further intervention down the road.
If you are in need of any dental work, or want to explore your options with a dental implant, schedule an appointment at Spokane Dental today! Throughout the pandemic, we have strived to provide the best, safest care for our patients and are thankful to have been able to do so. We are seeing patients and are able to provide both preventive and restorative care.