Why are Implants Better than Dentures and Bridges?
Dental Implants are substitute tooth roots that provide virtually the same function as natural tooth roots. Implants stimulate bone growth, preserve bone, and provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.
There are other routes a patient can take to replace missing teeth, including dentures and bridges; however, dental implants are a much better solution for many reasons.
- Adjacent teeth do not have to be altered to support an implant, as is the case with bridgework. This is significant for your overall oral health because it leaves more of your own teeth untouched.
- Dental implants are integrated into your bone structure, preventing gum recession and possible bone loss that can sometimes be attributed to bridgework and dentures.
- Dental implants function just as your natural teeth do, offering you more comfort and stability than conventional dentures.
Placement of Dental Implants
Dental implants aid in replacing a single tooth, several teeth or even all of your teeth. The implant itself looks like a screw or cylinder that is placed into the jaw. Over the 2-6 month period following the initial placement, the implant and jawbone bond together to provide an anchor for the crown. While your implant is in the healing period, an abutment is used to protect the tooth space and will eventually serve as the foundation for the implant crown.
Sometimes several teeth need to be replaced, and implant-supported bridges are a prime option as opposed to fixed bridges or removable partial dentures. The bone is better preserved with implant-supported bridges as the implants replace some of your deteriorated tooth roots.
Replacing all of your teeth is also possible with implant-supported full bridges or implant-supported dentures. Patients are able to preserve their natural bite with implants and achieve more comfort and stability than with conventional dentures.
Post Implant Care
Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.