Health Benefits of Dental Implants
If you are missing teeth or are facing tooth loss in the future, then one of the options for replacement is to have dental implants. Dental implants are a way of artificially replacing an entire tooth and which includes the tooth root. They are frequently considered to be one of the most innovative and important developments in dentistry over the past few decades, and dental implant treatment has already helped many people worldwide.
Dental Implants Can Do Much More Than Just Help Your Appearance
Most people will choose dental implant treatment because they are worried about their appearance, and certainly, the way you look is important for self-esteem and self-confidence. But, there are other ways dental implant treatment can be useful, not least because it can benefit your dental and general health.
These benefits are mostly down to the unique design of a dental implant and because it artificially replicates a real tooth root. When you lose a real tooth, a dentist will have to remove the entire tooth including its root. A dental implant consists of a small post or cylinder normally made from titanium alloy and which is surgically inserted into the jawbone. Once the post has healed and integrated with the bone surrounding it, it primarily functions just like a natural tooth root. One of the most critical health benefits performed by this artificial tooth root is in preserving your jawbone.
Dental Implants Are the Only Treatment That Can Preserve Your Jawbone
Did you realize that when the natural tooth is removed, then it affects the bone that originally surrounded it? Part of the function of the tooth root is to ensure the bone around it remains strong and healthy, and as old bone cells die off that they are replaced. The mechanism that ensures this happens is pretty clever, as the human body is so well-designed!
Whenever you bite or chew on a natural tooth, then it creates pressure and sensations that are transmitted through the natural tooth, into the tooth root and out into the surrounding bone. It’s this stimulation that signals to your body that it should continue renewing old bone cells. Of course, when you lose a tooth, your jawbone loses this stimulation, so that old and dying bone cells are no longer replaced. As you can imagine, over time, the amount of jawbone will diminish. The ridge of bone that originally surrounded your tooth becomes flattered and narrower, which affects the stability of any natural teeth either side of the gap. If you wear a denture, you’ll notice it fits less securely than before and is why dentures can cause so many problems.
Ideal Family Dentistry adds that, "Conventional dentures and bridges can’t fix this problem but implants are a robust tooth root replacements that become part of your jaw and maintain its structural integrity." The stimulation provided by dental implants ensures the jawbone around them remains strong and healthy, preventing the problems of bone loss. The health benefits of protecting your jawbone include stabilizing your existing teeth and maintaining the correct height between your upper and lower jaws.
Stabilizing and Protecting Existing Teeth
Jawbone loss can have a destabilizing effect on any existing teeth near to the gap, so preventing this loss protects your natural teeth. It is vital as otherwise, the teeth adjacent to the gap could begin to drift out of place as they become less stable, affecting your ability to bite and chew food properly. When you replace missing teeth with dental implants, then it has another beneficial effect, ensuring these forces are properly distributed. The dental implant supported teeth help to share the load created whenever you bite or chew food, which prevents excess wear and tear on your natural teeth.
Maintaining Facial Dimensions
Have you ever wondered why people who have lost all their natural teeth look as if their facial features are sunken inwards? Part of the reason is due to loss of facial dimensions because when you lose your jawbone, then it affects the height between your upper and lower jaws. While full dentures can artificially replace missing bone with a gum colored acrylic base, they don’t address the underlying problem of bone loss. Additionally, wearing dentures can accelerate bone loss because of the pressure of the denture pushing down on the gums and the jawbone underneath. With dental implants, these problems can be avoided, and even if you choose to have implant-supported dentures, then these will rest on the implants rather than on your gums.
At the same time, maintaining the correct facial dimensions helps to protect your jaw joints, ensuring they have the correct range of motion. Otherwise, they could come under too much stress, potentially causing the inflammation and pain of a disorder affecting the jaw joints and is called TMJ or TMD which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder.
Missing teeth make it difficult to bite and chew food properly, and many foods you may have previously enjoyed will be off the menu, especially if you wear dentures. It is essential to be able to chew your food thoroughly because it begins the process of digestion, ensuring that by the time the food reaches your stomach, nutrients can be adequately absorbed. With implant-supported teeth, you will find you can eat just about anything you like because they will be able to withstand far greater pressures than a denture. Being able to eat a greater range of foods and having the ability to chew them properly is not only more enjoyable but can improve nutrition. When your body is nourished, then it is easier to fight infection and disease.
Whether you are missing your natural teeth entirely or are facing the loss of one or two teeth, it’s important to think about how best to replace them. Ideally, it’s better to consider dental implants sooner rather than later because this will help to prevent further bone loss, and of course, you’ll be able to enjoy all the potential health benefits of dental implants that much sooner. Our dentist Dr. Benjamin Hull can examine your mouth and will discuss all possible dental implant options best suited to your needs. Often a complete arch of teeth can be restored with relatively few dental implants and given the potential longevity of treatment it’s incredibly cost-effective! It’s best to book a consultation with Dr. Hull here at Ivory Dental in Sandpoint ID or Newport WA to learn more.