People who are suffering from the discomfort of missing permanent teeth have several options available to restore their smile. Bridges and dentures used to be the only way to replace missing teeth, but they don’t provide the same functionality as your natural teeth. Dental implants are a newer, long-lasting solution for tooth loss that preserves your oral health and maintains the feel and function of natural teeth. Dr. Doyle Freano Jr. is a leading implant dentist in Lexington, KY who helps patients restore their confidence with a refreshed smile.
1. Implants last a lifetime
With proper care, dental implants can last for the rest of your life. The implant itself is surgically placed in the jawbone and fuses naturally with the surrounding bone, making it resistant to decay and unlikely to move around. The false tooth attached to the implant, called the crown, may need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear, usually after 15 years. Crown replacement is a much simpler procedure than a full implant installation.
2. Dental implants keep your jawbone healthy
It’s important to replace missing teeth before the underlying jawbone begins to recede. This could lead to a sunken appearance to the face, but the more important problem is that losing jawbone can risk the neighboring teeth and the jawbone strength.
Dental implants take the place of the root of the missing tooth, keeping the surrounding tissues intact. This keeps neighboring teeth healthy while preserving the jawbone’s health and structure.
3. Implants protect healthy teeth
In addition to keeping the jawbone healthy, dental implants help the teeth surrounding the missing tooth. Dental bridges, which are an older method of tooth replacement, involve grinding the surrounding teeth to serve as an anchor for the bridge. Implants are placed directly in the gap and do not need to be anchored by other teeth. This means that the only teeth that are affected are the ones that need to be replaced.
4. Implants feel and function like natural teeth
With dental implants, you can still eat and brush your teeth just like you would with natural teeth. They also do not get removed every day, offering minimal disruption to your regular routine. Other tooth replacement options are less comfortable or need to be cleaned separately, but you might even begin to forget your implant is a false tooth!