Without a doubt, dental implants are one of the most popular and effective ways to replace your missing or decaying teeth. In fact, in the last two decades, dental implants have become extremely popular due to advancements in dental technology, affordability, and an increased success rate. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry estimates that about three million people in the USA have a dental implant and the number is growing by at least half a million people each year.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are small titanium posts that replace the roots of missing teeth. They are placed in the jawbone where teeth are missing and then allowed to heal. As the area heals, the bone grows up and around the implant to create a strong anchor for a replacement tooth.
How Do I Know if Dental Implants are Right for Me?
If you have missing or decaying teeth that need to be removed, then dental implants can be the ideal solution for you. Anyone with a fully developed jaw, which usually happens in early adulthood, and with healthy gums and jaw bones can be a candidate for a dental implant. In fact, for the majority of adults with a fully-developed jaw, dental implant procedures can be successful in their 80s or even 90s. If there are no health issues that could affect the success of the procedure and the jawbone is thick enough to support an implant, then there is no upper age limit. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about age, so much as your overall oral health.
In order to determine whether or not you are a candidate for dental implants, our Langley dentist needs to consider the condition of your jawbone, gums, and other health factors. Our dentist’s expertise and commitment to utilizing the latest in dental technology and techniques have enabled him to perform dental implants with more precision, minimal patient discomfort, and significantly less recovery time.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
1. Improve Your Self-Confidence
Like most individuals, if you want to maintain an active social life, dental implants can help you achieve this goal. Implants are very similar to your natural teeth, so they can provide you with self-confidence, as well as the convenience you experience with your natural teeth. Sometimes, those who replace their missing teeth with dentures or bridges, still feel self-conscious about eating out or smiling because they are concerned that they may fall out. The permanent nature of implants offers you the security and confidence of knowing that your implants won’t fall out or move so you can enjoy your social activities.
2. Prevent Your Jawbone from Deteriorating
It is a fact that when you don’t replace a missing tooth right away with a dental implant, the jawbone resorption process begins. This means that your jawbone begins to deteriorate because of the lack of stimulation to the jawbone by the tooth roots and natural chewing forces. It is estimated that we can lose up to 25% in bone width within the first year of losing a tooth if we don’t replace it with an implant.
3. Prevent Your Teeth from Shifting
If you don’t replace your missing teeth, this can cause the surrounding teeth to shift. Moreover, bone deterioration may not be limited to the area underneath the missing tooth. It can spread to neighbouring teeth.
As a result, the shifting of adjacent teeth and a decrease in jawbone strength can cause a change in bite alignment. If you experience bite misalignment, you may begin to suffer from reduced chewing ability and strain in the jaw muscles. These conditions can cause tooth pain, tooth hypersensitivity, headaches, and discomfort. It can even cause TMJ Dysfunction.
4. Help You Avoid Premature Aging
The bone loss can progress underneath your healthy teeth if you don’t replace missing teeth with implants. This bone loss can result in the loss of additional teeth. You will also notice that your jawline will begin to become smaller. When this begins to happen, your facial appearance changes and you will experience premature aging.
Losing additional teeth will cause your jawbone to continue deteriorating and the distance from your nose to your chin to decrease. This change can even cause the lower third of your face to partially collapse and your lips will start to sag. This will form an unhappy expression.
Maintenance and Care for Your Dental Implants
Many of our Langley dental patients ask us if dental implants require special care. Generally, dental implants should be treated just like natural teeth. You should have regular dental check-ups, and brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. You should brush with a soft-bristle toothbrush and low-abrasive toothpaste under and around the implant crown. Also, to properly clean hard-to-reach teeth, you should use a nylon-coated interdental brush and floss with unwaxed tape or implant-specific floss prior to brushing.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
As dental implants have been designed as a permanent solution to tooth loss, we’d love to tell you that your dental implants will last a lifetime but the answer is not that simple. If you maintain good oral hygiene, proper nutrition, and your implant procedure was performed properly, then they should last a lifetime. However, no one can give guarantees because the health of a person is dependent upon many factors which are out of the control of one’s dentist. For example, proper nutritional needs being met, proper hygiene, genetics, and disease processes that might occur. So, the answer to this question really is that no one knows how long each individual implant will last.
Book Your Dental Implant Consultation
If you would like more information about teeth replacement options like dental implants or dentures, contact Langley Dental Centre. Our dentists will help you find the solution that’s suitable for you. Good candidates for dental implants need healthy gums and adequate bone support in order to hold the implant. Book your consultation with our Langley dental implant team at Langley Dental Centre at 200 Street and 86 Avenue. During your consultation, you can also have a complete oral examination to determine if dental implants are right for you. Call us at 604-455-6247 or contact us online.