Missing one or more teeth can often lead to low self-esteem and a general unhappiness with one’s appearance. Luckily, modern technology and dental advancements have contributed to the development of dental implants.
No one sets out with the goal of losing any of their teeth, but life is a long and unpredictable ride and sometimes, things just happen. Most people out there will suffer some sort of dental emergency in their lives. Depending on the severity, this can lead to debilitating health issues and a serious loss of self-esteem. Fortunately, dental science has come a long way in recent years and people no longer need to suffer from broken, lost or damaged teeth.
Dental implants are one of the most innovative and effective dental procedures around today. Very few artificial treatments can claim to be as effective as their natural counterparts, but dental implants are the exception to that rule. Strong, long lasting and entirely natural-looking, dental implants are a drastically superior option when compared to traditional false teeth. So what are dental implants, and what makes them so good?
When a tooth is lost, you don’t just lose its aesthetic appearance. Teeth are like icebergs; there’s a lot more to them than the part you see. When the tooth goes, it takes its root with it, and that’s what really does the damage. Losing multiple roots causes the bone of the jaw to atrophy and shrink, resulting in the condition known as “facial collapse.” This is where the lips take on a pursed, pinched look, and from side on it appears as though the mouth has regressed inwards. Apart from looking bad, this condition makes jaw strength weaker and is part of the reason people with multiple lost teeth find eating solid foods more difficult. Traditional false teeth do basically nothing to prevent this condition as they are a surface solution only and don’t replace that all-important root.
Dental implants are different. As you may have picked up from the name, they are implanted into the jaw as a direct tooth replacement. Identical in appearance and function to a natural tooth, implants bond to the bone of the jaw. They act in the same way as a natural root, and give the jaw the support it needs to remain strong and avoid atrophy.
Dental implants are very safe, but they’re not perfect for everyone. The ideal candidate should have healthy jaws and gums to allow the implant to seat properly and bond. The longer you wait, the more time your jaw has to lose its integrity. It’s still possible for people with lower bone density in their jaws to receive dental implants, but this might require further preparatory treatments such as a bone graft.
Apart from determining your suitability as a patient, there are very few risks to the dental implant surgery itself. However, that last word is something to consider when evaluating whether the treatment is right for you – it is a surgical procedure and as such, it comes with some of the associated risks, including the possibility of infection, failure of the implant to bond with the jawbone or possible damage to surrounding tissues. However, when performed by a quality dental surgeon, the procedure is exceedingly safe and amazingly effective. The most important thing for the patient is to have good overall oral health, free from gum disease and other chronic issues that could heighten the risk of infection.
Dental implants are the ideal combination of aesthetics and function. Not only do they help to maintain the integrity of the jaw and facial structure, but they also look far superior to regular false teeth.
Even to the closest of observers, a dental implant is indistinguishable from a natural tooth. They never have to be removed or maintained differently from an ordinary tooth, and if the cap were to ever become discolored or chipped, it’s a simple process to replace it with a shiny new one.
Implants are a permanent solution. The implant itself can last a lifetime, which is a good thing because the procedure can be quite expensive and isn’t something you’d want to have to repeat every few years. The surface cap is not as long-lasting, with a reasonable lifetime of 10 to 15 years. As we mentioned earlier, it’s quite a simple procedure to recap the implant, requiring no stressful or impactful surgery.
Dental implants are one of the great advances of modern dentistry, giving hope to the millions of people who suffer lost or damaged teeth that there is a better solution out there.
James Malouf currently runs his own practice Cosmetic Dentistry in Brisbane. In 2008 he graduated as a dental surgeon from Griffith University and opened Malouf Dental in 2009. James has a particular interest in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry and orthodontics and prides himself on his compassionate approach to providing patients with results that go beyond their expectations.