Years ago, if you lost a tooth, the options for replacement were limited. Typically, your best alternative was to obtain a fixed bridge or removable denture – but these choices brought along specific complications.
In recent years, however, dental implants have become the primary method of replacing adult teeth. A dental implant consists of a small titanium post that is screwed into the jawbone, acting as a replacement tooth root. A crown is then attached to the screw, giving the appearance of a natural tooth.
In many cases requiring tooth replacement, your Yuba City Dentist will recommend a dental implant. This is because dental implants:
1. Look and function the most like natural teeth
Your natural teeth have roots that anchor them firmly to your jawbone. A dental implant mimics this function, with the titanium post serving as a new “root”. Titanium is a metal that has the unique ability to fuse to living bone in just a matter of months. Since the artificial crown is designed to look and feel like a real tooth, in time a dental implant often becomes indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
Unlike removable dentures, that have the potential to slip and shift, implant teeth allow you to return to the normal activities of eating, speaking and smiling with confidence.
2. Last the longest
Unlike bridges and dentures (which must be replaced or remade over time), once dental implants fuse with the jawbone, they are permanent. If cared for properly, they will last a lifetime.
3. Prevent bone loss
Your bone tissue needs constant stimulation to remain healthy; in the case of your jawbone, your teeth provide that stimulation.
When a tooth is lost, the bone begins to resorb – a process similar to atrophy. This leaves your jaw more vulnerable to fracture and can make your face appear aged prematurely. Dental implants provide the jawbone the stimulation it needs. No other tooth replacement method can do this.
4. Don’t damage adjacent teeth
Dental implants typically have no effect on adjacent, natural teeth. In contrast, bridgework and dentures often weaken adjacent teeth as they depend on them for support. This can make adjacent teeth more susceptible to decay, or even cause them to loosen over time.
Dental implants are anchored directly to the jawbone, without support from other teeth.
5. Are easy to care for
Dentures need to soak overnight, and also require the use of special creams and adhesives. Bridgework also requires special materials or methods for proper maintenance.
In contrast, you care for implant teeth in the exact same way you care for natural teeth, with good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist. Doing so ensures that your implants will last a lifetime.