Missing teeth can be unsightly and embarrassing. When you're considering replacement teeth, though, you should look beyond the cosmetics of your smile. Missing teeth can also cause serious problems for your overall oral health.
There's one tooth replacement option that both restores your beautiful smile and fortifies your oral health -- dental implants, which replace your entire tooth structure, including the root. Dr. Scott Greenhalgh has practiced dentistry in Denver, Lakewood and the surrounding areas of Colorado for almost 30 years, and he's dedicated to providing you with the best care possible. Here's a guide to why implants could be the right choice for you.
Dental Implants Promote Future Oral Health
When you lose a tooth, you also lose its root. Roots not only anchor your teeth to your jawbone, but also help direct vital nutrients to it. Therefore, the absence of a tooth root can lead to many oral health problems, such as:
- Gum recession on remaining teeth
- Jawbone shrinkage and collapse
- Jaw and bite misalignment
Dental implants replace your missing root with a titanium anchor that is implanted into your jawbone. This is put in place during one visit, then given three to six months to integrate into your jawbone. Once this process is done, the titanium implant is essentially a part of your jawbone. It gives your replacement tooth a replacement root, which prevents further jawbone decay. Some patients may not have the jawbone density necessary to get dental implants. In many cases, these patients can get a bone graft that will allow Dr. Greenhalgh to install an implant.
Dental Implants Ensure The Best Cosmetic Results
After your titanium implant has integrated with your jawbone, Dr. Greenhalgh will install a high-quality porcelain crown on top of it. This dental crown will be based on a detailed model of your mouth and will be shaped to fit your surrounding teeth. It'll also be colored to blend in with the rest of your smile. This custom treatment will ensure a seamless, natural-looking fit.
Dental Implants Last Longer Than Other Tooth Replacements
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. This is because of the stability and strength of the titanium implant. You should care for your implant the same way you would your natural teeth:
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day
- Floss daily
- Rinse with antibacterial mouthwash daily
- Eat high-fiber fruits and vegetables, as well as high-calcium dairy products
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks such as candy and soda
How Dental Implants Compare To Dentures And Bridges
Every individual's goals and treatment needs are unique. For some people, dentures or bridges may be a good option. However, Dr. Greenhalgh has found that his patients who get implants are incredibly satisfied with their choice. There are several drawbacks to replacing missing teeth with dentures. These include:
- Difficulty speaking
- Poorly fitting dentures may slip out of place
- 75 percent reduction in chewing force
- The restoration won’t prevent future jawbone deterioration
Bridges are a more stable alternative than dentures, but have other drawbacks. Anchoring a bridge requires putting crowns on the healthy teeth surrounding the missing tooth. Therefore, if one tooth on the bridge develops issues, the whole bridge may need to be replaced.
For these reasons, Dr. Greenhalgh will always recommend dental implants for all patients who are a suitable candidate.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
For nearly 30 years, Dr. Greenhalgh has helped patients in Denver, Lakewood and surrounding areas of Colorado achieve their best smile. He could help you, too. Call (303) 988-9060 to schedule a consultation today.