If you are missing one, several, or all of your teeth, then you already know how much of a negative effect missing teeth can have on your day-to-day life. Whether you have a different tooth-replacement option in place or are simply living with empty spaces in your mouth, missing teeth can make it difficult to enjoy eating all the foods you love and speak naturally. Missing teeth can also change and affect the way you look, eventually taking a toll on your self-confidence.
Thankfully, with the creative use of dental implants, modern dentistry offers several tooth-replacement options that look, work, and feel just like natural teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a permanent, prosthetic tooth-replacement option that consists of three parts:
- Implant Anchor – An implant anchor is a biocompatible, metal, screw-like dental device that is surgically placed in a patient’s jawbone. The implant anchor osseointegrates with the natural jawbone and mimics a tooth’s natural roots.
- Implant Abutment – The implant abutment is also made of biocompatible metal. It attaches to the top portion of the anchor to hold a tooth replacement in place.
- Implant Crown – The implant crown (also called a cap) attaches permanently to the implant abutment and replaces the visible portion of a patient’s tooth. An implant crown is custom-designed to look just like a natural tooth, blend in seamlessly with the patient’s neighboring teeth, and provide a comfortable bite and natural feeling in the mouth.
7 Ways Dental Implants Can Improve Your Quality of Life
1. Eat Anything You Want
When you’re missing teeth or using traditional full or partial dentures to replace your missing teeth, you might not be able to enjoy all of the foods you want to enjoy because several foods can be difficult to bite into and chew while using these dental appliances. Whether you miss biting into the side of a crisp apple, confidently enjoying a steak at a nice restaurant, or enjoying an ear of corn at a neighborhood barbeque, dental implants can restore your ability to eat anything confidently. With dental implants, you can eat and chew any foods you want, and it will feel as if you are using your natural teeth.
2. Prevent Jawbone Deterioration, Further Tooth Loss, and a Changed Appearance
Many people are not aware of the relationship that exists between the health and strength of the jawbone and the teeth that are anchored in it. When we bite down and chew, our teeth and their roots naturally put pressure on the jawbone. This stimulation triggers the production and strengthening of bone matter in the area. As a result, the jawbone remains strong and maintains its natural form
When one or many teeth are lost, the jawbone does not receive ample stimulation in the places where the missing teeth were once located. As a result, the jawbone begins to deteriorate in these areas. This can lead to neighboring teeth shifting, moving around, and even becoming loose and compromised. It can also create painful bite problems (malocclusion). Additionally, as the jawbone deteriorates, it significantly changes a person’s bone structure and appearance.
Since dental implants are anchored directly in the jawbone, they provide stimulation that prevents jawbone deterioration and all of the subsequent consequences from occurring.
3. Feel Comfortable
Anchored in the jawbone, like natural teeth, dental implants feel just like natural teeth. As a result, they are just as comfortable as natural, healthy teeth. This means you don’t have to deal with any of the slipping, rubbing, and sores that can occur while wearing traditional dentures.
4. Speak Naturally
Since they are the closest thing available to having natural teeth in your mouth, dental implants make it easy for you to speak naturally, too.
5. Save Time
Dental implants can be cared for just like your natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing. As a result, they can save you lots of time when you think about the maintenance required when caring for traditional dentures. With dental implants, you don’t have to spend any time, soaking dentures, applying denture adhesives, or massaging your gums to keep them healthy.
6. Versatile Teeth-Replacement Options
Dental implants also offer patients a large variety of options for replacing teeth. Implants can be used to replace individual teeth with a one-to-one replacement ratio, replacing each individual tooth with an individual dental implant. However, dental implants can also be used to support dental bridges, replacing several consecutive missing teeth. Plus, they can be used to support permanent and removable full and partial dentures for patients who are missing all or most of their teeth.
7. Increased Confidence
Dental implants look, feel, and work just like natural teeth. As a result, you can regain your confidence when your smile looks like it always has (or even better than it used to!). Plus, you’ll feel much more comfortable and confident when you eat in public or talk with your friends, family, and colleagues because you won’t have to worry about missing teeth or slipping dentures affecting your ability to chew or speak naturally.
Restorative Dentistry at Northern Colorado Implant & Prosthetic Dentistry
Dr. Andrew Bock and the team at Northern Colorado Implant & Prosthetic Dentistry are proud to provide our patients with a wide variety of options when it comes to replacing missing or severely damaged teeth to restore the form and function of their smiles. When you schedule a smile restoration consultation at our dental office, we can recommend a personalized treatment plan designed to help you meet your individual smile goals while addressing your unique oral health concerns.
To learn more about dental implants and how they might improve your life, we welcome you to schedule an appointment at Northern Colorado Implant & Prosthetic Dentistry today.