If you lose a tooth through damage or decay, there’s no need to put up with a gap in your smile. Dental implants offer an effective solution, and they come with many extra benefits compared to other treatments.
Modern implants are technologically advanced, but the idea has a longer history than you might think. There’s evidence that people of the Mayan civilization pushed sharpened fragments of shells into their gums to replace missing teeth. However, modern versions of implants have been around for over 50 years and the technique is by now proven and fully understood. And of course, it’s safe to say that today’s fitting procedures are vastly more comfortable than in the days of the Maya.
Modern implants are made of titanium, an immensely tough but lightweight metal that’s widely used in the aerospace industry. Using this material means an implant can last a lifetime, with no need for future treatment or replacement. And what’s more, with an implant there’s no risk of new cavities forming in the replacement tooth, cutting down on future discomfort and dental bills.
Tooth decay and loss can lead to reduced strength in your jawbone, and this deterioration can progress more rapidly with age. Having implants fitted strengthens your jaw in two ways. First, the metal sockets that are fitted shore up your jaw directly. Second, the procedure stimulates new bone growth to add even more strength in the months that follow.
When you lose a tooth, your remaining ones can start to shift around to fill the space. This movement can lead to a crooked smile and even loosened teeth, and it also makes dental hygiene harder to maintain. When an implant is fitted to fill the gap, it supports your remaining teeth to keep them stronger and straighter for longer.
Once your dental implant has been fitted and your gums have fully healed, you’ll never be able to tell that your implants aren’t your own real teeth. Unlike dentures or bridges, you’ll have no discomfort and no restrictions on the kinds of foods you can eat. No one can tell by looking that you have implants, and they won’t cause any muffling or slurring of your speech. And lastly, there’s no need for any special implant care beyond your usual brushing and flossing.
Having implants fitted may seem like a major piece of dental work to undergo, but it’s a surprisingly common procedure. It’s estimated that three million people in the US already have implants, with half a million more being fitted every year. What’s more, so long as you have healthy gums, a strong jawbone, and no allergies to the materials used, implant fitting is an extremely safe operation. Nonetheless, any dental work carries a small amount of risk, and implants aren’t suitable for everyone. But if you’re looking for a solution to a broken smile, your dentist can work with you to see if implants are the right choice for your circumstances.
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