If you have lost one or more teeth, it’s important to replace them. Modern dentistry gives us many options for replacing your teeth, but of all the options available, none are as good as dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are rods of titanium about half-an-inch long. They are surgically placed into your jawbone to replace the natural tooth roots.

When topped with porcelain crowns or bridges, dental implants look and function very much like natural teeth.

When Do You Need Dental Implants?

Dental implants are required when your teeth need to be replaced and can replace teeth lost for any reason. The most common cause of tooth loss among adults is gum disease, and dental implants are good replacements in this situation. They can also replace teeth lost to decay, trauma, or other reasons as well. They can be used to replace any number of teeth, from a single lost tooth to a full arch of teeth.

mature man smiling at home

Why Dental Implants In The Best Tooth Replacement Option

Dental implants are better than any other tooth replacement option. To demonstrate how, here are seven reasons why you should choose dental implants over other tooth replacement options.

1) Close to Natural

An implant is the closest thing to your natural teeth. Like your natural tooth, a dental implant is made of two specialized parts. First, the implant itself is designed to integrate with your jawbone to keep the implant secure. Second, the dental restoration, such as a dental crown or bridge (also called a denture), attaches to the implant. This provides the attractive appearance and functional chewing surface of your teeth.

There are other ways to restore the look and shape of your teeth, but most of the time they do little more than sweep the real problem under the rug. They replace the visible part of the tooth, but lack the root that supports and secures the tooth. 

2) Stimulate Your Bone and Support Your Gums

Having something like your natural tooth root is very important for your jawbone and gums. When it comes to your bone, it is very much a “use it or lose it” situation. If your body detects that bone isn’t experiencing weight and pressure, it will begin to resorb the bone, taking away the valuable nutrients to use elsewhere.

If you’ve seen someone who has worn removable dentures for a long time, you know what this looks like: their face has collapsed, with excess, floppy skin hanging off or folding inward.

But dental implants stimulate the jawbone so your body doesn’t remove it. This means that you will be able to maintain your youthful profile for as long as you have your dental implants. 

3) Long Lasting

And how long will you have your dental implants? That is a question nobody knows the answer to, yet. Dental implants can potentially last a lifetime if they are placed by trained practitioners and maintained properly.

Initial success rates for dental implants range between 90-98% depending on the study and the experience level of the dentist placing them.

Long-range studies of 20-30 years confirm that over 90% of dental implants can last that long. Results beyond that are hard to obtain because study populations that receive dental implants start to pass away before the final results are collected. However, there are documented individual cases of people having dental implants for 40-50 years. This is quite remarkable given that the first dental implant procedure ever was in 1965.

Note that this lifespan is for the dental implant–root–itself. The dental restoration on top of the implant is unlikely to last as long. Some dental bridges can last up to 30 years on implants, but many restorations, especially individual crowns, last 10-15 years.

For comparison, dental bridges supported by your natural teeth might also last 10-15 years. However, removable dentures are not long-lived, lasting 8 years or less. 

4) Attractive Appearance

An American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey has discovered that more than 9 out of 10 people in the U.S. value an attractive smile.

Dental implants can give you a natural-looking smile. In fact, many people won’t be able to tell which of your teeth are dental implants and which are natural. Even dentists have a hard time spotting implants without a close inspection.

Removable dentures are easy to spot because of their plastic teeth, plastic bases, and support hooks. Dental bridges might look natural at first, but as the bone and gum collapse under the bridge, people will see the gap underneath. 

5) Secure

We’ve noted before that dental implants fuse with your jawbone. This process is called osseointegration. Your bones don’t just grow around the implant, they attach to it. As long as your bone stays healthy around the implant, this means that the implant is as secure as natural teeth and will never come out.

This allows dental implants to support themselves without help from your other teeth. Modifying teeth for dental bridges or using them to secure dentures can lead to additional tooth loss. Dental implants, though, don’t interfere with your natural teeth. 

6) Improved Speech

Poor-fitting dentures can slip in your mouth, causing you to mumble and/or slur your words. With dental implants, you do not have to worry about this issue. Dental implant-supported teeth just stay in place so that you can speak easily and naturally.

Another issue with removable dentures is that they are bulkier than natural teeth. The plastic base that supports the denture teeth can be a large structure that interferes with the movement of your lips and tongue so that you have to relearn how to speak once you get this type of tooth replacement. 

7) Improved Eating

Removable dentures are terrible for eating. Your natural chewing motion goes in multiple directions in a complex configuration that efficiently grinds food between your teeth. However, this type of motion would dislodge dentures. People with partial dentures often simply remove their dentures to eat. People with full dentures will do this sometimes, but others learn to chew differently, with a straight up-and-down motion. It’s not efficient, but it works.

However, with dental implants, you can maintain your natural chewing motion. This makes it easier for you to eat a wide variety of foods, including steak, apples, and corn on the cob. Anything you enjoyed with your natural teeth, you can enjoy with dental implants. And we do mean enjoy. With dentures, people often find that their taste is dulled by the plastic plates that cover their upper palate. The roof of your mouth has almost as many taste receptors as your tongue, so covering it over diminishes the apparent flavor of foods. With dental implants, your palate is uncovered, so you get the full flavor of the foods that you eat. 

Are You Looking for Dental Implants in San Diego?

You may have lost some or all of your natural teeth, but you can still enjoy a beautiful, functional smile. All you have to do is request a consultation with Dr. Shahin Safarianby calling (858) 255-9689 in Chula VistaYour first consultation is free.