Why are dental implants so valuable?
Dental implants are the best way to replace your missing teeth. Dental implant technology is nothing new and dental implants have been around since the 1960’s. Of course, the dental implant process has become much simpler and more affordable since. Still, dental implants are by no means inexpensive. Implant dentistry is still considered a significant investment for the majority of people.
So why are dental implants so popular? What are the benefits of having dental implants? Why is it worth spending thousands of dollars to replace your missing teeth? It turns out, there are countless benefits to having dental implants instead of missing teeth. The benefits of dental implants go far beyond simply replacing missing teeth. Lets take a look at the top 10 benefits of dental implants to better understand how valuable dental implants are:
1. Preserve your jaw bone
Perhaps the most important function of dental implants is to preserve your jaw bone structure. Ever notice how completely toothless individuals have a sunken in face? This is the result of jaw resorption subsequent to losing your teeth. Your teeth are essential to preserving your jaw bone. Once you lose a tooth, your jaw starts to shrink at an accelerated rate. Consequently, losing your teeth makes your jaw bone shrink over the years. This can lead to problems including the likelihood of fracturing your jaw.
Dental implants work exactly like natural teeth do in terms of jaw bone preservation. Placing dental implants helps prevent jaw bone atrophy to preserve your valuable jaw bone structure. Dentures do no such thing. In fact, wearing dentures contributes to additional bone loss and worsens your condition.
2. Chew your food properly
It’s no surprise that we need teeth to chew our food. Losing teeth, even if it’s just one tooth, can adversely affect our chewing ability. You need a minimum of three teeth on each side of your mouth to chew comfortably. Anything less than that will significantly diminish your chewing capability. Losing your teeth means you might not be able to eat hard foods such as steaks, raw vegetables and nuts. This could lead to digestive issues, stomach problems and malnutrition. Some patients lose substantial weight after having lost a large number of their teeth.
Placing dental implants restores your chewing ability back to normal. Dental implants provide you with 100% chewing efficiency, similar to that of natural teeth. Denture teeth are far inferior to natural teeth and dental implants when it comes to chewing ability. Patients with complete dentures have about 30-40% chewing efficiency as compared to those with a full set of natural teeth or full mouth dental implants.
3. Look good and improved self-confidence
Your smile is the first thing that others notice about you. Unfortunately, this also means that people will notice when you’re missing a tooth! Missing teeth creates an undesirable gap in your mouth which could be quite noticeable. Missing a front tooth can have incredible impact on your self-confidence and social perception. Placing dental implants will close these gaps to restore your beautiful smile and lost confidence.
4. Pronounce your words
It’s no surprise that you need your teeth to speak properly. Sounds like “s“, “f“, “th” rely on your front teeth coming proximal to one another. Missing a tooth, especially a front tooth, can impact your pronunciation. This is why completely toothless individuals speak differently in a very noticeable way. Dentures help your pronunciation a bit, but they are no where as good as dental implants in restoring your speech.
5. Keep your remaining teeth from becoming crooked
Losing teeth, even if it’s just one tooth, causes your remaining teeth to become crooked. This is because teeth like to shift into gaps close to them. Whenever you lose a tooth, your remaining teeth slowly drift into this gap. Losing just one tooth can cause every other tooth on that side of your mouth to shift into the gap. Sometimes this drifting is so bad that it causes crooked teeth and screws up your entire bite. Dental implants close missing tooth gaps to prevent your teeth from shifting, thus protecting your bite.
6. Prevent your remaining teeth
The average person chews 250,000 a year. Now guess what happens when you lose a tooth? You end up placing significantly more stress onto your remaining teeth. The more teeth you lose, the more you damage your remaining teeth. In fact, if you’re missing just 3 of your back teeth, your placing double the stress onto your remaining teeth. This added stress damages your remaining teeth and causes them to break, crack and fail over the years.
Replacing your missing teeth with dental implants helps protect your remaining teeth from unnecessary stress. This will keep your remaining teeth healthy and sound. Unfortunately, dentures don’t absorb much of your bite pressure. Therefore, dentures do next to nothing to relieve the stress exerted onto your remaining teeth. This explains why denture wearers continue to lose more and more teeth over the years, until their teeth are all gone!
7. Protect your head, neck and TMJ
The stress caused by losing your teeth goes far beyond damage to your remaining teeth. This added stress is transferred to your jaws, and from there it spreads to your joints (known as TMJ) which causes headaches, migraines and tension pain. The same way that orthodontic treatment can correct your bite and reduce tension pain, dental implants similarly restore your bite to aid in eliminating or reducing head and neck discomfort.
8. Stop wasting time and money on hopeless teeth
Twenty years ago your dentist would encourage you to save your tooth at all costs. Root canal treatment, root canal retreat, apectomy, hemisection and all other types of complicated and expensive procedures were attempted in order to salvage infected teeth. Sadly, most of these procedures fail sooner or later. Plus, you end up spending thousands-of-dollars on a tooth that you will lose in a couple years anyways. Even worse, most of these infected teeth continue to remain infected inside your mouth. This infection can spread to the rest of your body over the years and damage your overall health and well-being.
Dental implants have solved all of these problems. First off, dental implants have excellent success rates, in the 98-99% range. This means that dental implants offer an excellent way to replace your missing teeth. Additionally, during dental implant treatment, your infected tooth are permanently removed. There’s no more question or concern if your tooth is still infected or not. With the potentially infected tooth removed, your body is guaranteed to have rid itself of the infection. The same can not be said about root canal treated teeth. These teeth sometimes remain infected for years without showing much of any symptoms or pain.
9. Improve your medical health
It turns out that physicians are also catching up with the benefits of dental implants. Many dental implant treatments are now referrals made from physicians. This is because many medical problems can be traced back to missing or infected teeth. Broken teeth become abscessed and drain infection into your bloodstream or sinuses. This is detrimental to your health, especially those with existing dental problems, such as:
- Patients with cardiac conditions and heart issues must absolutely remove any infected teeth from their mouth and ideally replace them with dental implants
- Infected teeth can damage your artificial hips, titanium knee joints and artificial heart valves
- Missing teeth impact your digestion and cause gastrointestinal problems, stomach issues and subsequently nutritional deficiencies
- Diabetic are especially susceptible to oral infection and must always remove compromised teeth, including failing root canals, and replace them with dental implants
- Those with persistent sinus problems, headaches and other undiagnosed head and neck conditions may notice significant improvement in their condition after replacing their missing teeth with dental implants
As you can see, there are countless medical conditions which may be tied to missing or infected teeth. Therefore, dental implants not only restore your oral health, but they may also alleviate certain medical issues.
10. Prevent wrinkles and facial muscle atrophy
The final benefit of dental implants that we’re going to discuss here is preservation of your facial muscles. Ever noticed how completely toothless individuals start developing plenty of wrinkles and look much older than they really are? This is because your facial muscles lose their support once you lose your teeth. With no teeth to hold your cheeks and lips in their position, you start to develop lots of wrinkles.
Dental implants provide excellent support for your cheeks and lips. This helps your facial muscles maintain their natural position and prevents your cheeks and lips from shrinking and developing wrinkles. Subsequently, you will look younger and healthier with dental implants in your mouth. Unfortunately, wearing dentures won’t prevent facial wrinkles. Dentures are loose and mobile, so they can’t provide firm muscle support to stop your face from wrinkling.
How to get started with dental implants?
It’s actually quite simple: All you have to do is find a dentist nearby who offers dental implant treatment. Start by scheduling a consultation for dental implants with an experienced implant dentist. Once your dentist examines your teeth and X-rays, he or she can tell you how many dental implants you need. Your dentist will explain your treatment process and discuss finances with you. Most implant dentists offer monthly financing options, so you will have plenty of time to pay for your treatment. If you live in San Clemente, Orange County or close by, we can help you! Give us a call at (949) 481-2540 or schedule your free consultation with us by clicking here. We look forward to assisting you with your dental implant needs.