Tooth loss can happen through decay, gum disease, failed root canals and accidents. The importance of replacing teeth once they are lost is more than a cosmetic issue. Once a tooth is lost, the bone in the jaw that supports the tooth begins to disintegrate, which can affect the structure of the face including the jaw, muscles and issues with bite (how teeth come together). This can lead to difficulty in chewing and poor nutrition. It’s therefore important to replace missing teeth as soon as possible.
What is a dental implant?
Implants are a substitute for a natural tooth root made of titanium and are normally screw shaped. This is inserted through the gum into the jaw bone to support missing teeth. Once it has healed an internal screw is placed into the implant to support crowns, bridges or dentures.
The Pros of Dental Implants
- Aesthetics: They look and feel just like regular teeth, with no clicking noises or speaking and chewing difficulties that can occur with dentures.
- Bone health: Bone loss is less likely since dental implants actually replace the tooth and its root.
- Durability: As they are fused to your jaw bone, they are very stable, and if you take good care of them, you can expect them to be just as durable as your natural teeth. When you consider the fact that typically dentures last for only about five to eight years, dental implants are a great choice for those looking for a long-term option.
- Tooth Preservation: Unlike bridges, implants don’t rely on neighbouring teeth for support which can help protect remaining teeth from damage.
- You care for your implants: in the same way you do for real teeth, regular visits to the hygienist and dentist.
The Cons of Dental Implants
- As with any surgery, complications may occur including bleeding, infection and nerve damage. However in expert hands this is very rare.
- Dental implants are not a quick fix. It can take up to three months to have a new tooth.
- The implant can get infected by bacteria called peri-implantitus, a periodontal disease that can lead to bone loss if left untreated.
- If your bone is weak or sparse you may need a bone graft.
- Although there are some drawbacks, implants are a safe and reliable option that improves the quality of life due to their functionality, durability and appearance. The procedure has a success rate of more than 90% and is the best option for replacing missing teeth.
If you would like further advice please call The Mayhill on 01600 712020 where our implantologists have over 25 years experience in placing dental implants.