Do you have missing teeth? Do you have a bridge or partial dentures? If so, then dental implants might be an option for you. You should discuss with your dentist just how implants might benefit you and talk about your options in order to determine how they might best fit your needs. Before discussing things with your dentist, however, there are certain things you can consider.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a replacement tooth that is implanted permanently into the mouth. The oral surgeon will insert a screw into the bone in the jaw and allow the bone to heal around the screw. Once the healing is complete, the dentist will permanently affix a replacement tooth to the screw. The result will be that you will have a new, beautiful tooth where before there was nothing.
Dental Implants or Bridge Work?
Like implants, bridge work is a means of replacing missing teeth. A bridge, however, differs from an implant in that a bridge is affixed to the surrounding teeth in order to remain in place. This is an advantage since the procedure to put a bridge in place is less involved. However, bridge work is not as desirable as an implant for the very same reason. In many cases, a bridge can cause undue stress on the neighboring teeth which it relies upon for support. Over time, this can cause damage to the surrounding teeth which will require further work. For this reason, an implant is often the better option.
What About Partial Dentures?
Another replacement option for those with missing teeth is a set of partial dentures. Partial dentures, unlike dental implants, are not permanent replacements. Thus, they must be taken out periodically (typically this is done daily) to be cleaned. Moreover, partial dentures can be uncomfortable to wear. They are often kept in place with wires in much the same way as a retainer. This being the case, they can also put undue stress on the surrounding teeth and often require periodic adjustments in order to ensure that they fit properly. It is no wonder, then, that implants are becoming more and more popular since they come without all of the hassle and discomfort that commonly accompany partial dentures.
It is clear, then, that dental implants offer a variety of advantages that other methods of tooth replacement simply cannot offer. Most notably, they offer a permanent solution to the loss of a tooth that looks and feels as natural as the rest of your teeth. Additionally, they come without the discomfort of a bridge or the inconvenience of partial dentures, and they pose no possibility of damage to the rest of your teeth.