Even if you brush and floss regularly, missing teeth may communicate to the world that you don’t take care of your teeth, and, by extension, some people may assume you can’t take care of other matters, such as personal relationships, business deals, and finances.
The judgment is unfair and unfounded — but the perception is real.
Missing teeth also set into motion a cycle of dental issues that can ruin your oral health. To prevent that, you have tooth-replacement options: bridges, dentures, and dental implants.
At OK Tooth in Midtown Manhattan, New York, Dr. Charles M. Marks and our team of dental specialists offer all three. In this blog, we take a closer look at dental implants and highlight four reasons you may want to consider this treatment over the others.
How bridges, dentures, and dental implants compare
When considering which tooth-replacement option is right for you, you must consider several factors, including how many teeth you’re missing, the condition of your gums, the density of your jawbone, your overall health, how long you need the replacements to last, and your budget.
Our team helps you navigate the pros and cons to help you decide. Here’s a quick comparison.
Dental bridges are oral appliances that contain one or more artificial teeth. The bridge anchors onto crowns that we place on the two neighboring teeth on either side of the gap, holding them securely in place — bridges aren’t removable.
Dentures, another oral appliance that contains false teeth, can replace just a few missing teeth or a complete set of upper and lower teeth. Full conventional dentures rest on top of your gums, partial dentures attach to your natural teeth and snap off for cleaning, and implant-supported dentures are removable prosthetics that affix to implanted dental posts.
Unlike dentures and bridges, dental implants anchor into your jawbone with a titanium post that acts like a tooth root. We place an abutment on top of the post that allows us to attach a natural-looking crown. It’s in there for good.
The top four reasons to consider dental implants
Dental implants have a few clear advantages over other treatment options. As you’re weighing the pros and cons of each, here are some good reasons to consider dental implants over the others.
1. Dental implants function better
Partial dentures and bridges anchor to neighboring teeth, and full dentures anchor to nothing at all, so keeping these appliances in your mouth without shifting while you speak and eat requires considerable practice and skill.
Dental implants, on the other hand, never budge. They’re firmly planted in your jawbone, so you can eat steak, apples, and corn on the cob with confidence.
2. Dental implants promote better oral health
Missing teeth pose a serious oral health problem. The gaps trap food and create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Gaps allow nearby teeth to drift into the vacant spot, which can affect your bite, as the upper and lower teeth no longer align. Most importantly, your jawbone may atrophy because it no longer receives pressure from the missing tooth or teeth.
Dentures and bridges can address a few of those issues, but not the last one. Only dental implants provide the bone-building friction and pressure needed for a healthy jaw.
3. Dental implants look and feel better
When it comes to looking and feeling like natural teeth, nothing compares to dental implants. There’s no visible hardware, no gaps, no slippage — only perfectly shaped and colored teeth that allow you to make a stellar first impression.
Dental implants increase your confidence in social and professional situations, which can have a positive impact on your mental health as well.
4. Dental implants last a lifetime
Dental implants are generally more expensive than dentures and bridges, but when you consider the fact that you have to replace those removable appliances every 7-10 years, you may break even over time.
If you have missing teeth and you’re ready to discuss your options, call us or book an appointment online today.