There are many improvements and facilities in the dental care field but still many people suffer from tooth loss. Most of the tooth loss occurs because of the periodontal disease, tooth injury or carious lesions. There are many replacement options for the missing tooth like denture, bridges, and implants. Denture and bridges are the affordable options but implants are highly aesthetic compared to both these options.
The implants offer increased shelf life compared to dentures and bridges but they are very costly. Many people avoid replacing their missing tooth at all or either replace with dentures or bridges. But I consider implants being superior to all other replacement options. Let’s have a look at what are dental implants and what are their benefits?
Dental implants are the tooth roots that are replaced. They mimic the tooth structure and are formulated from titanium. They insert it into the jawbone to offer support to other prostheses. It feels, acts and looks like a natural tooth. It aids in replacing the removal or fixed prosthesis which they prepare to match the appearance of natural teeth.
BENEFITS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS:
The benefits of dental implants include:
The implants serve as a perfect option for improving the speech. They do not slip in your mouth. The dentures on the other hand usually slip if not placed correctly resulting in slurred speech or mumbling of words.
Dental implants mostly resemble the appearance of the tooth. Dentists prepare them in such a way that they resemble your own tooth and fuse with the jawbone.
Implants are highly comfortable. They eliminate any discomfort which you experience with the ill-fitting dentures.
- GUM DISEASE:
Dental implants replace the missing tooth and keep you free from the gum diseases. If there is a missing gap because of tooth loss, it results in food and bacterial entrapment which leads to gingival or periodontal diseases.
- FACIAL SAGGING AND PREVENTS AGING:
Dental implants offer an appropriate appearance to your face. It prevents you from premature aging and facial sagging. The facial sagging occurs due to the loss of bone when the tooth is the loss. Due to the missing teeth, the lower third portion of the face begins to collapse reducing the distance between the nose and the chin. The loss of teeth results in the formation of wrinkles, thinning of lips and pointed chin which makes you look older than your original age.
Dental implants give you back your confidence and self-esteem. They allow you to feel better in the crowd, society, and workplace. You admire yourself and get back your smile.
- ORAL HEALTH:
Dental implants do not affect oral health like other replacement options. For dental implant placement, the tooth adjacent to the implants is not reduced for support like in bridges. Most of the teeth are left intact when implants are placed. It improves the overall health of your oral cavity. When individual implants are placed, you can have easy access to manage oral hygiene.
Dental implants are a convenient option. You don’t need to apply any adhesive or remove them from the mouth when going to public places. It is not an embarrassing replacement option like dentures where you need to remove them and apply them regularly.
Implants, if placed correctly, are more durable, they have a longer shelf life when compared to other replacement options like dentures or bridges.
- NO CAVITY:
Implants do not result in cavity formation in the surrounding teeth as you can see in conditions where dentures and bridges are placed. It prevents the buildup of bacteria in your oral cavity and prevents any infections.
- EASY TO CARE:
Dental implants are easy to care. You don’t need special products for cleaning them. You don’t need cleansing tablets, adhesive, cups or flosses. You can simply brush and floss the teeth in a natural way.
HOW DENTAL IMPLANTS PREVENT BONE RESORPTION?
When there is a missing tooth, the jaw bone starts deteriorating from the empty space because there is no stimulation by the natural tooth or other tooth-like material. If no replacement option is preferred for one year after the tooth is lost it results in 25% increased bone loss in terms of volume. This bone loss then starts increasing with years.
Dentures or bridges can also result in bone resorption of not placed appropriately. The ill-fitting or loose dentures result in enhanced bone loss. The surface of the dentures rubs against the jaw bone that leads to wearing off of the jawbone.
Dental implants prevent bone resorption because they are similar to the tooth. They replace the root of the tooth in an effective manner. They restore the chewing, speaking and aesthetic requirements which are fulfilled by the natural tooth. The implants stimulate the jaw bone in a similar fashion to the normal teeth due to which the bone resorption does not occur. The dental implants prevent the adjacent teeth from shifting into the missing gaps which might get crooked when there is a missing space. The availability of missing tooth results in shifting of position alters your chewing and biting pattern along with it affects the appearance. The replacement of missing tooth by implants prevent the bone resorption by keeping the adjacent teeth stable and stimulating the jawbone appropriately.
COMPARISON OF IMPLANTS TO THE NATURAL TOOTH:
There are many differences and similarities between the dental implants and natural teeth.
- AT THE TIME OF BIRTH: One of the most important differences between natural tooth and implant is that you had them when you were born while the implant is attached to the bone in later stages of life.
- FUSION WITH THE BONE:Implants have a unique property that they fuse with the jawbone and become a part of the bone. The titanium is a type of metal which is used for the formulation of dental implants which allows the complete fusion of implants to the bone.
- PERIODONTAL LIGAMENT:Natural teeth are not the part of the jaw bone, instead they attach to the bone with the help of periodontal ligament. This periodontal ligament is made up of tiny fibers that connect the tooth on one side and join the bone on the opposite side. These fibers result in the hammock for the natural tooth.
- CARIOUS LESIONS:Natural teeth can have carious lesions and undergo decay but the carious lesions or decaying process is not the part of implant structures. But still, you need to maintain a proper oral hygiene with implants in the mouth.
- ATTACHMENT:The natural tooth has an attachment with connective tissues i.e. gingival fibers. These fibers run perpendicular to the long axis of the natural tooth. The implants are also attached with the help of fibers but they run parallel to the long axis of the implants. The connective tissue of implants has low mechanical resistance in comparison to the natural tooth.
- FIBER ARRANGEMENT: The natural tooth has fibers arranged perpendicularly which prevents the invasion of bacteria. However, in implants, the bacterial invasion is not limited as the fibers are arranged parallel to the implant.
- HEALING RESPONSE:The healing response in the natural teeth is more effective because the gingival vascular supply is properly maintained. However, in implants the gingival vascular supply is limited and the tissues do not respond effectively to the inflammation. The small wounds around the implants do heal effectively while the larger wounds heal slowly in result in scarring.
- TRANSFER OF OCCLUSAL LOADS:The natural tooth has periodontal ligament which transfers the occlusal loads within the surrounding bony structure. The natural tooth allows micro movements which dissipate the overload. Implants, on the other hand, lack the periodontal ligament so the occlusal loads are directly transferred to the bone. If overload is present in a continuous state it can result in bone loss.
- DENTAL PULP:The natural tooth has dental pulps which give an indication of early disease while implants lack the dental pulps.
- PROPRIOCEPTION & NERVE SUPPLY: The natural tooth has proprioception with nerve supply while the implant lacks both the characteristics.
- ORAL HYGIENE MAINTENANCE:The similarity for both natural teeth and implants include the maintenance of oral hygiene. If oral hygiene is not maintained properly it leads to the formation of bacterial infections that cause gum diseases and ultimately bone loss.
- INVASION OF BACTERIA:The ultimate enemy in properly fused implants is the bacterial infection which can result in peri-implantitis. It is the inflammation of the implant by the bacterial infection that builds upon the crown portion of an implant. Peri-implantitis can result in a bone loss that can loosen the implant from its place and the implant detaches from the bone. If this happens then the implant won’t function effectively. You can prevent such infections with appropriate brushing and flossing technique. You should visit the dentist for scaling after every 6 months to avoid any infections or gum diseases.
AESTHETIC APPEARANCE OF DENTAL IMPLANT:
Dental implants offer a remarkably similar appearance which mimics the natural teeth. The dental implants are available in different sizes, shapes, and colors. The dentist makes sure to match the size and color of your implant according to your face type. The dentist will match the color of the dental implants by comparing the surrounding teeth and the shape that fits well in the missing space. The dentist is the one who will only recognize the insertion of implants in the missing space. Other than that no one can identify that you got your tooth replaced by implants.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE OF IMPLANT PLACEMENT?
The implant placement involves the basic procedure which depends on the three steps:
- Surgical loading of the implant post which is made of titanium. It creates a stable foundation where healing occurs. This phase is known as Osseo-integration. During this healing period, the implant fuses with the bone within 3-6 months.
- The abutment is placed which serves as a post connecting the implant with the prosthetic tooth. The abutment serves as a bridge which covers the gum line because the implant is buried within the jawbone. The abutment also needs some healing time so that the gums can heal around the abutment.
- Replacement of the temporary tooth which was placed during the interim period with the prosthetic crown that is fabricated and attached.
HOW IT’S THE BEST TOOTH REPLACEMENT OPTION?
Any individual who is healthy can get themselves dental implants. They are the ideal candidates for implant placement. A person should have an adequate bone density for implant placement. Individuals who have a chronic illness like diabetes, osteoporosis, and others, they do not heal quickly which is why they are less preferred for implant placement.
A dental implant offers several beneficial effects when compared to other replacement options like bridge or denture. The dental implant does not sacrifice the health of the adjacent tooth when replacing the single tooth. Other dental treatment options require the support of neighboring tooth so they are ground. The dental implant is the best option to replace the missing tooth because it is placed in the position of the tooth root which aids in preserving the bone. However, with other replacement options, the surrounding bone starts to resorb. Dental implants fuse completely with the jawbone which keeps the bone intact and healthy.
The dental implants are more esthetic in appearance than other replacement options. It does not cause recession of gums like denture or bridges. It is the best option for replacing the missing tooth because it acts, feels and looks like the natural tooth. It offers the same chewing, biting, speaking and smiling pattern. It is a perfect solution to replace the missing teeth as it is unidentifiable.
VERDICT: the implants are the reliable replacement option for missing teeth. They offer 95% success when performed accurately. It offers a perfect longevity to an individual if you have regular dental checkups and perfect home care i.e. brushing, flossing and professional cleaning. It is one of the cost-effective treatment options that work well in your oral cavity for a long run.