It is not uncommon for many adults to have lost a permanent tooth by their mid 40’s, and the number of lost teeth typically continues to go up as those individuals age, which has many turning to dental implants. Their dependability and longevity are in large part why dental implants are gaining in popularity. It is estimated that more than three million American adults have chosen implants to bolster their smile and self-confidence.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are typically made of titanium and are fused together with the jawbone to anchor a customized replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. The titanium makes the implant much stronger and more reliable than most bridgework or dentures.
Patients with a fully grown jawbone and one or more missing teeth may be a candidate for implants if they have healthy oral tissues and do not smoke.
It is worth noting that while dental implants can be a long-term solution, they also take several dental visits over the course of a couple of months to get just right. However, when the new implants are in place, patients often report improved speech, the ability to eat a greater variety of foods, and more confidence in the overall appearance of their smile.
Why Are Dental Implants Gaining in Popularity?
Although the demand for dental implants can go up as an individual ages, it is not the only procedure capable of addressing the issue of missing teeth. In many cases, people are choosing implants over dentures or a bridge.
Some of the key reasons dental implants are gaining in popularity are:
- Authenticity. Implants can be customized to look exactly like a patient’s surrounding teeth. This requires attention to detail such as the size, shape, and color of other teeth to yield a more natural looking smile.
- Capabilities. With dentures, individuals often have to take care when eating certain foods so the dentures do not come out after taking a bite. Dental implants are anchored in the jawbone rather than sitting treacherously on top of the gumline. This may enable patients to more confidently and comfortably eat something like an apple, which they may have perhaps avoided with dentures.
- Bone loss prevention. Tooth implants are designed to prevent bone loss, which can help preserve a patient’s bone structure that could otherwise deteriorate.
- Longevity. While it is possible to have an issue with an implant, in general they are successful with an estimated eighty percent lasting for up to fifteen years with proper care.
Why Dental Implants Can Be a Better Option Than Other Alternatives
Dental implants may be a better option for some patients than other alternatives such as dentures or bridges. Much of this deals with what people are able to comfortably do with the implements, as well as how to care for them.
When it comes to aesthetics, some bridges and dentures can be lacking compared to the natural effect of implants. Especially with removable dentures, it is possible to have an obvious shift in the false teeth that may make a smile look askew.
The sheer anchoring power behind dental implants tend to make them much sturdier than dentures. With the implants anchored into the jawbone, the patient does not have to worry about them coming out when eating foods in which their teeth might stick, such as an apple or a sticky toffee.
One of the conveniences dental implants provide compared to bridges and dentures is the level of low maintenance required. While dentures require daily (sometimes multiple times) cleaning to keep food from getting stuck underneath them, implants only require normal dental care such as brushing, flossing, and a checkup at the dentist every six months or so.
The Importance of Finding the Right Dental Implant Provider
Getting dental implants can be a major dental procedure, so it is critical to choose the right Houston dentist. Some considerations to keep in mind when choosing a dentist for implants include:
- How many years have they been in practice?
- How many successful dental implants have they done?
- What kind of equipment is used for this procedure?
- How long will the procedure take?
- What is the expected outcome for a patient with dental implants?
Be sure the dental professional you choose is licensed to be practicing and has a good reputation among their patients. The more a patient knows about the dental implant procedure and the professional administering it, the more peace of mind they can have about the process from start to finish.
It is easy to see why dental implants are gaining popularity among people missing one or more teeth. If you are missing teeth or are considering switching from partial dentures or a bridge to dental implants, consult a reputable dentist today for more information.