Many dentists refer to dental implants as the “permanent tooth replacement option,” and while this descriptor is not necessarily inaccurate, it is not completely true, either. The longevity of a dental implant depends on several factors, including a patient’s oral health, lifestyle habits, dental hygiene practices, and diet, to name a few. Patients who are…
Why Dental Implants are Good for Your Health
When it comes to tooth replacement options, you have several, one of which is dental implants. Dental implants are an advanced tooth replacement option that comes with several benefits. In addition to improving the aesthetics of your smile, implants can help to improve the functionality of your mouth. They feel and work virtually identically to natural teeth, restoring your ability to talk and chew the way you used to prior to your tooth loss. These benefits are possible largely because implants mimic the entire tooth structure.
Dental implant technology
A dental implant consists of a titanium “root” that the dentist inserts into the jawbone. The titanium root and jawbone fuse via a process called “osseointegration,” thereby creating the type of immoveable tooth structure that is similar to the natural tooth. Once osseointegration has occurred, the dentist will cap the steel root with a crown that is made of porcelain, ceramics, or a combination of the two. Though gold does not offer the natural look that most people desire from dental implants, gold is an option as it is durable.
Regardless of the type of material you choose, a dental implant has the potential to last a lifetime if you properly care for it. Implants also offer a host of other benefits that you may not realize with other tooth replacement options.
4 health benefits of dental implants
Implants can improve both your oral health and your overall health in many different ways. Here are just a few of them.
1. Improved nutrition
When some of your teeth are missing, it can be more difficult to chew your food. As a result, you may gravitate toward processed foods that are softer and easier to chew. These foods are often high in sugar, fat, and sodium. Eating foods like these on a continuous basis can lead to weight gain and other chronic health problems, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. They can also lead to the further deterioration of tooth and gum health, thereby exacerbating any existing oral health problems.
Dental implants provide the same functionality as natural teeth. This allows you to go back to eating healthier foods that you may have avoided before, such as proteins, fruits, and vegetables, with the confidence that you can now chew them normally and in comfort.
2. Reduced gum disease risk
The gap left behind by a missing tooth can form an open pocket in the gums as they start to recede. Because it is difficult to keep clean, bacteria may collect in this pocket and cause gum disease. If this is left untreated, it can progress to the jawbone, putting you at risk for further tooth loss, and potentially spread to the bloodstream where it can travel to other areas of the body and cause new infections. By having an implant placed, you can avoid these outcomes and enjoy renewed and ongoing good oral health.
3. Bone growth stimulation
The roots of the teeth stimulate the jawbone, helping to keep it strong. When a tooth is missing, the lack of stimulation causes resorption of the calcium in the jaw so it can be used elsewhere in the body. This causes the jawbone to lose density. Over time, this can change the shape of your face by altering the structure of the jaw. It can also cause the surrounding teeth to start tilting inward, affecting your bite and putting you at risk for further tooth loss. A dental implant acts like the roots of a tooth to stimulate bone growth in the jaw and prevent resorption from taking place.
4. Improved mental health
Missing teeth can affect your self-esteem. You may not feel the confidence you once did to eat, smile, and laugh naturally for fear of what people will say or think when they see your teeth. By restoring the natural function and appearance of your teeth, dental implants can help improve your confidence in yourself and relieve the stress that can come from having to keep your mouth hidden from others.
Dental implants can benefit both your oral and overall health in several ways. Some benefits, such as improved appearance, may seem obvious, but there are several other, lesser realized benefits that many implant patients enjoy. These include increased comfort and functionality, reduced risk of gum disease, better oral health, and increased self-esteem. Together, each of these benefits contributes to increased health and wellness across all aspects of your life. If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of dental implants first-hand, consult with a dentist regarding your needs, wants, and options.
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