Dentures used to be the best solution for replacing missing teeth, but dental implants are more popular these days because they look better, are more comfortable and do not require a lot of maintenance.
Why are dental implants popular?
They're like natural teeth
Dental implants are considered the best option to replace missing teeth because they function just like your regular teeth. The procedure requires titanium posts to be fused to your jaw. A replacement tooth is attached to the abutment at the top of the post making the artificial tooth function like your natural tooth. The post that is implanted in your jaw bone acts as a tooth root. This allows the stimulation of your jaw bone, which strengthens the bone and helps you retain your facial structure. This is something dentures and fixed bridges do not do because they are placed on top of your jaw and cannot stimulate bone growth.
Comfort is another reason implants have become more popular than dentures. Getting dentures requires artificial teeth to be placed on a plastic or metal base that is colored to resemble your gums. The denture is then placed on the top of your gums and held in place by an adhesive. Having dentures in your mouth takes some getting used to and can cause some pain as your gums get used to them. Chewing food and speaking can also be tricky because dentures tend to slip around in your mouth, which makes you slur your speech and have some difficulty chewing. Since dental implants are permanently fixed in your mouth, you do not have to worry about them slipping, affecting your speech or your ability to chew food. You also do not have to worry about tooth decay because the replacement tooth is artificial.
Another reason people opt for dental implants over the other alternatives is the fact that they are very durable and can last a lifetime. This makes them a great long-term investment. Dentures and bridges are fairly durable, but they generally only last 10 to 15 years before having to be replaced, which means you will eventually have to pay for another set.
Can anyone get dental implants?
It would be great if everyone with missing teeth could get implants, but that is not possible. Some people do not make good candidates for dental implants for a variety of health reasons.
- Smokers are not considered ideal candidates because carcinogens in the cigarettes can lead to gum disease, which complicates the implant process
- People with health diseases like diabetes are also not considered ideal candidates because the disease slows down the healing process
- Former cancer patients who received radiation treatment to their head and neck are not considered good candidates because the radiation will likely cause the implants to fail
Even though some people are not considered ideal candidates, they can still undergo the procedure if their dentists feel the implants will be successful despite their health issues.
Dental implants are considered great replacements for missing teeth because they look and function like your real teeth. If you are interested in undergoing the procedure, talk to your dentist and have them evaluate your mouth to make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure.
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