When you have a tooth or teeth that are damaged or infected and need to be removed, you have a choice to make. You can either leave the spaces that used to hold the missing teeth empty – though most dentists advise against that – or you can choose to fill the space with something like a partial denture, a bridge, or dental implants. If you're not sure which of the choices are right for you, take a look at a few reasons why dental implants are the superior choice in most cases.
Implants Are Easier To Care For
Once they're in place, you take care of dental implants the same way that you would take care of your natural teeth. Brush them, floss them, and visit your dentist twice a year for cleanings and check ups. Your dental implants won't feel, look, or function differently than your natural teeth. In fact, you're liable to forget that you have them after awhile.
By contrast, it's difficult not to be aware of dentures or bridges. You'll have to buy denture cups and cleaners for removable dentures and take them out each night to clean them and soak them. They can move around in your mouth, causing you to have difficulty speaking or chewing – or worse, embarrassing moments of tooth slippage. They can also chip or break when dropped or wear down from normal use, necessitating expensive replacements. Dentures and bridges can also be quite uncomfortable at times.
Implants Give You Greater Bite Force
Implants can be used to create a more permanent, better fitting bridge when it's necessary to replace several teeth. In addition to being more comfortable and easier to care for, this innovation has a significant advantage over a traditional bridge or removable denture – your bite force with an implant-secured bridge is 70% percent stronger than with a partial denture. In other words, you retain most of the natural force of your bite. This is because the implants bond with your jaw bone, giving those teeth the same benefit of a strong base that your natural teeth have.
Why is this important? Without a strong bite, it's nearly impossible to enjoy certain foods, particularly crunchy foods like apples or raw carrots or tough foods, like steak. It also takes longer to thoroughly chew your food when you have a weak bite. An inability to properly chew your food can lead to other problems, like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Your body also has difficulty absorbing nutrients from food that is not chewed enough. Chewing is an important part of the digestive process; your body wasn't meant to break down large chunks of poorly chewed food.
Implants Are Getting More Affordable And Effective
Traditionally, dental implants have been the choice of patients with a lot of disposable income or really good dental insurance. The titanium root made early dental implants very expensive. But newer implants on the market are much more accessible to the average patient, thanks to a ceramic-polymer blend root that is cheaper to produce than titanium.
Don't interpret "cheaper" to mean "lower quality" when it comes to these new implant options. The designers of the new implants say that their ceramic-polymer blend is actually more resistant to corrosion and wear than the traditional titanium posts are. Furthermore, the ceramic can be coated with vitamin D, which will promote bone tissue growth and more effective fusion between implant and jawbone. This new implant technology will make implants available to many more dental patients than ever before.
If you're facing the possibility of tooth extraction and replacement, keep the benefits of dental implants in mind, and ask your dentist for more information if you're a good candidate for implants.