Very few things are as inconvenient as missing one or more teeth. Your bite becomes uneven, you might have trouble chewing certain foods, and of course, there’s a noticeable gap in your grin. While traditional dentures and bridges can fill this space, they don’t offer nearly as many benefits as dental implants do. As the only option that replicates the entire structure of a lost tooth, dental implants are the longest-lasting solution to tooth loss. However, not everyone is a good candidate for this treatment. Keep reading below to learn more about whether dental implants are right for you.
How Dental Implants Work
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, usually made from titanium, that is surgically placed into the jawbone. Over the course of the next few months, a process called osseointegration occurs. During osseointegration, the biocompatible implant post permanently fuses with the bone, creating a sturdy foundation for a crown, bridge, or denture to replace your missing pearly whites. Once this restoration has been placed, your new tooth or teeth should look and feel like a completely natural part of your smile.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
In general, patients who have missing teeth and are in good oral and overall health are candidates for dental implants. The main obstacle people face when trying to get dental implants is jawbone loss. When you lose a tooth, that tooth’s roots no longer stimulate the jawbone when you bite or chew. As a result, the bone weakens and shrinks. After a few years, it may not be strong enough to accommodate dental implants.
Fortunately, there is a relatively easy solution: bone grafting. Your dentist can graft an artificial bone material onto your existing jawbone. This promotes growth that, after three to six months, ensures your jawbone will be sturdy enough to support as many dental implants as you need.
Why Dental Implants Are the Best Way to Replace Missing Teeth
Because of the bond that dental implants forge with your jawbone, they essentially become a part of your own anatomy. This enables them to offer several benefits, such as:
- The potential to last for 20+ years with the right aftercare
- Easy maintenance – just brush, floss, and attend dental checkups as normal
- A natural feel and appearance
- None of the slipping or irritation caused by dentures
- Jawbone stimulation that keeps you looking young and vibrant
While not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, the majority of people can be. Ask your dentist if dental implants are the best way to rebuild your smile.
About the Author
Dr. Cody Calderwood is a dentist in Park City, UT who earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Maryland. He has since achieved Fellowships with the Academy of General Dentistry and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. This advanced training allows him to place and restore dental implants in his own practice without having to refer you to a specialist. To learn whether dental implants are right for you, visit Dr. Calderwood’s website or call his practice at (435) 649-4343.