For adults with missing teeth, dental implants may be the solution. When teeth are not there to adhere to the jaw, the bone begins to lose its structure and strength. This, over time, can lead to instability for the remaining teeth and affect speaking and chewing. Using implants is a practical solution that can stop this loss and build the bone back.
Role of implants to prevent bone loss
Bone loss of the jaw can result from a variety of things, such as infection, gum disease, cavities or misaligned teeth, but the most common cause is the loss of teeth. Bone loss results in fragility of the jaw, and there is a greater chance of damage.
Implants help prevent bone loss because they mimic natural teeth. Whether a patient is missing multiple teeth or just one, the implants are embedded right into the jaw so when used, they exert similar pressure as the original teeth did. This, in turn, draws more bone to the area, making the jaw denser and stronger.
Additional benefits of dental implants
Preventing bone loss is an important role of dental implants, but they have additional benefits as well.
Similar appearance to natural teeth
Technology has come a long way, and implants look just like natural teeth. This is aesthetically pleasing, and it helps patients feel more confident about their smiles. As an added bonus, unlike natural teeth, dental implants cannot develop cavities.
Dentures are another method to replace missing teeth, but they do not prevent bone loss, and they can be uncomfortable. Dentures are difficult to fit, and they can become loose or move around. Implants are secured into the bone, which ensures they stay right where they are supposed to be. This allows for natural speaking and chewing, and they do not need to be taken out at night.
No restrictions on diet
Another downfall of wearing dentures is that they restrict what people can eat. With implants, there are no diet restrictions, and people can eat sticky and chewy foods as well as popcorn, apples, nuts and corn on the cob.
Beneficial for surrounding teeth
Some alternative solutions for missing teeth, such as dentures and fixed bridges, affect the surrounding teeth. The natural teeth often act as a support for the alternative methods, and they can start to weaken over time. Dental implants are stable and do not deteriorate other structures around them.
Implants are a great choice to replace missing teeth because they last a long time. In fact, with proper care, they can remain in good shape for decades or even a lifetime. Recipients of implants should practice good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing regularly. They can also extend the life of their replacement teeth by avoiding smoking, taking calcium and eating a healthy diet.
Bone loss can severely affect other teeth in the mouth as well as chewing and speaking. Dental implants are a permanent solution that helps prevent additional loss and builds a stronger jaw while delivering other benefits such as aesthetics and comfort.
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