Losing one or more teeth can negatively impact your quality of life. When teeth are missing, it affects your smile, your ability to eat certain foods, and your oral health. You may feel self-conscious about the gaps in your smile or have discomfort when chewing. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers excellent tooth replacement options to restore your smile and oral function.
Dental implants are the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. Implants are a permanent solution that looks and feels like natural teeth. At Lansdowne Family Dental, we specialize in dental implants and believe they are the best option for most patients needing tooth replacement. Here’s an overview of why dental implants should be your first choice if you are missing one or more teeth:
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer many advantages over other tooth replacement options like dentures and bridges:
- Look and function like natural teeth – Dental implants consist of a titanium post fused to the jawbone topped with a ceramic crown. They look, feel, and function very similarly to natural tooth roots and crowns.
- Prevent bone loss – After a tooth is lost, the jawbone begins to deteriorate. Dental implants fuse to the bone, preventing further bone loss in the area.
- Permanent solution – Unlike dentures that need to be removed daily, implants are a permanent fixture in the mouth. With proper care, they can last a lifetime.
- Improve facial aesthetics – Missing teeth can cause your facial muscles to sag, making you look older. Implants help maintain facial structure and the contours of your face.
- Protect healthy teeth – Bridges require cutting down adjacent healthy teeth. Implants don’t damage other teeth.
- Improve speech – Dentures can slip while you’re talking, causing mumbled or slurred speech. Implants allow you to speak naturally without worry.
- Eat anything – Since implants fuse to the jawbone, they allow you to eat harder foods that you couldn’t with dentures or missing teeth.
- Boost self-confidence – Many patients report renewed self-confidence with the improved ability to smile, speak, and eat that implants provide.
- Long-term value – Although implants have a higher upfront cost than other options, they last for decades and are more cost-effective over your lifetime.
The Downsides of Not Replacing a Missing Tooth
Deciding to leave a missing tooth space unrestored may seem like an easy option at the moment. However, not replacing missing teeth can lead to significant oral health and aesthetic consequences down the road.
Accelerated Bone Loss
Without a dental implant to stimulate the jawbone, bone loss will continue over time. This can alter the facial structure and make future implant placement more difficult or impossible.
Adjacent teeth will gradually shift into the vacant space left by the missing tooth. This can create gaps in your smile line and bite problems.
Progressive Gum Disease
It becomes much more challenging to keep areas with missing teeth clean. Plaque and tartar buildup can accelerate gum recession and periodontal disease.
As more teeth are lost, it becomes harder to chew certain foods, affecting your nutrition. Replacing missing teeth with an implant makes eating easier and more enjoyable.
Gaps from missing teeth can impact speech, sometimes causing lisping or slurring that can be embarrassing. An implant restores clear pronunciation.
When teeth are missing, it affects your smile and self-confidence. Dental implants allow you to smile fully and boost self-esteem.
As you can see, a missing tooth causes oral health to decline in a domino effect over time. Restoring the space with a dental implant prevents this chain reaction and preserves your oral health and facial aesthetics for the long term.
Why Dental Implants Are Better Than Cheaper Alternatives
Given the benefits of dental implants, they are well worth the initial investment for most patients. Some people consider lower-cost options like partial dentures, bridges, or just leaving a gap. However, these alternatives come with significant downsides.
Partial dentures are removable appliances with fake teeth attached. While less expensive than implants, partial dentures have considerable disadvantages:
- Uncomfortable and inconvenient to remove daily
- Can slip while chewing or talking
- Do not prevent bone loss in vacant areas
- Require altering adjacent teeth for clasps
- Higher long-term maintenance costs
- May need to be remade as bone shrinks over time
Bridges involve reducing the structure of surrounding healthy teeth to affix a false tooth. This option can cause:
- Permanent damage to healthy teeth
- Greater risk of decay and gum disease in abutment teeth
- Inability to floss or properly clean bridge space
- Eventual need for root canals, crowns, or extractions on abutments
- Replacement bridges required as abutment teeth fail
Dental Implant Process and Recovery
Dental implant treatment involves several steps:
Consultation and Planning
During your initial consultation, we will:
- Take 3D scans to visualize your bone structure and nerve locations
- Develop a surgical plan for optimal implant placement
- Review your medical history for any potential complications
- Provide you with cost estimates based on your case
Tooth Extraction (if needed)
If a damaged tooth needs removal, we will extract it as traumatically as possible before placing the dental implant.
Implant Placement Surgery
To place the implant, we make a small opening in the gums to expose the jawbone. A titanium implant is then inserted into the bone. The gums are stitched closed over the implant while integrating with the bone over 3-6 months.
After integration, we uncover the implant and attach an abutment to connect the implant to a custom-designed ceramic crown. The crown is matched to the color and shape of your natural teeth.
Patients can usually return to work the next day. Swelling and mild discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. You should avoid hard chewing directly on the implant as it completes the healing process.
Within a few weeks, the implant will become fully integrated and function just like a natural tooth. With proper oral hygiene, your implant can last many decades.
Why Lansdowne Family Dental is the Right Choice for Dental Implants
When you choose Lansdowne Family Dental for dental implants, you can feel confident knowing you are in the care of trusted experts.
Highly Skilled Team
Our implant dentists have years of experience placing and restoring implants. We stay current on the latest dental research and techniques to provide leading-edge treatment. Our skilled technicians craft beautiful, natural-looking implant crowns.
From 3D cone beam imaging to digital impressions and CAD/CAM milling, we use state-of-the-art technology for precision implant placement and custom-designed restorations. This results in a comfortable procedure, faster healing, and aesthetically pleasing outcomes.
We take a holistic approach, considering your entire oral health and individual needs. In addition to dental expertise, we offer sedation dentistry for anxious patients. Our goal is to provide personalized care tailored to you.
With excellent attention to detail and adherence to strict clinical protocols, our dentists achieve implant success rates that meet or exceed industry standards. Read reviews from satisfied implant patients on our website.
Dental implants can help you regain your beautiful, confident smile if you are facing tooth loss. As an experienced implant provider, Lansdowne Family Dental is dedicated to achieving successful outcomes. To schedule an implant consultation, contact our office today!