A survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry indicates that 92 percent of adults in the United States believe that having an attractive smile is an asset but that only half of all Americans are satisfied with their own smiles.
One of the most embarrassing of all dental problems is tooth loss, which leaves behind gaps in the teeth or can claim an entire upper or lower arch of teeth in the case of severe gum or dental problems. Dental implants are an effective way to deal with tooth loss and improve the appearance of your smile.
Dental implants are artificial teeth that unlike dentures are permanent features in the mouth. There are many types of implants available, but the most basic type consists of durable titanium or another type of strong metal screw that is inserted into the socket where there was previously tooth. After the procedure, the jawbone heals, and the screw becomes permanently set in place. Then, a post called an abutment is added to the screw, and a porcelain crown or false tooth is added to the abutment. When performed correctly by an experienced cosmetic dentist, implant procedures produce results that are so natural that they are virtually undetectable.
If you're faced with tooth loss or have already lost teeth, dental implants offer some distinct advantages over dentures of which you should be aware. By adding the implant to the jaw, you can help prevent bone loss that can occur following an extraction, decreasing the risk of changes in your bite and chronic pain developing. Dental implants are much easier to care for and use than dentures. You don't have to soak them or worry about adhesives. Since they are a permanent part of your mouth, you can simply brush and floss them as you would your other teeth. Dental implants often improve speech following tooth loss, whereas dentures can sometimes change speech even more. Once you have fully healed from the implant procedure, you can eat all of the foods you love without having to worry about dentures becoming damaged.
While dental implants are an effective cosmetic dental treatment solution for many people, they do have some risks and disadvantages. You will need to undergo surgery to have the implants performed, and there is always a slight risk of infection following any surgical procedure. If you have already suffered bone loss, you may need to have work done to your jaw before you have dentures implanted, and any periodontal issues must be corrected before you can have implants placed. Dental implants are also more expensive than dentures, but studies have shown that over the long term they are less expensive since they are less likely to suffer wear and tear and do not require you to purchase special cleaning supplies on a regular basis.
To find out more about dental implants, contact Randall L. Davis, DMD, PC to schedule a consultation.