Although awareness of the importance of dental care has increased in recent years, tooth loss is still a common issue affecting millions of Americans. The most common causes of tooth loss that we see include injury, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. In the past, bridges and dentures were the only available options for those suffering from tooth loss due to these conditions; however, dental implants can now provide an effective, long-lasting solution for individuals missing teeth. Dental implants differ from dentures and bridges, as they are an actual replacement for the tooth root to which your dentist can affix a permanent or removable tooth that realistically matches your natural teeth.
Advantages of dental implants
Aside from providing a permanent and natural looking solution for tooth loss, dental implants have a variety of other advantages over bridges and dentures including bone preservation, protection of adjacent teeth, a long-term success rate, and long-term money savings.
Dental implants preserve bone
One of the main advantages of dental implants is that they preserve the bone surrounding the tooth. This is significant because when a tooth is lost, the bone that previously surrounded the tooth will begin to continually resorb and lose volume. This can have a variety of negative side effects affecting oral health, overall health, facial appearance, and the ability to replace the missing teeth.
Since implants actually replace the previously existing tooth root, they function as a natural tooth root would by transmitting forces and stimulating the jaw bone. This creates a firm foundation for replacement teeth attached to an implant and prevents continual resorption of the jaw bone.
Dental implants protect healthy teeth
Another one of the advantages of dental implants is that they keep the surrounding teeth healthy. Unlike a bridge, which requires your dentist to actually cut down your healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth, an implant provides a secure root that your dentist can attach the replacement tooth to without damaging the neighboring teeth.
Choosing a dental implant also ensures that your remaining teeth around the empty space do not shift, since there are no empty gaps or spaces left in your smile.
Dental implants are a long-term solution to tooth loss
Unlike bridges or dentures, dental implants offer a long-lasting and effective solution for replacing missing teeth, as they are meant to last for a lifetime. In fact, studies have found that the success rate for dental implants is over 95 percent!
Dental implants save money
Since dental implants are a permanent replacement, they should also save you money in the long term. This is because unlike bridges which can need to be replaced every 5-7 years due to tooth decay, fracturing, etc.; dental implants will most likely last you a lifetime. Although the initial cost may be higher than alternatives like bridges and dentures, over a lifetime they should provide the most cost-effective value of tooth replacement options as they should last a lifetime if properly maintained.
Dental implant technology at Nashville Restorative Dentistry
In recent years, dental implants have become even more effective thanks to advances in technology. At Nashville Restorative Dentistry we use digital x-rays in conjunction with digital 3D Cone Beam CT scans to determine the best location and type of implant for your specific case.
Cone Beam CT scan technology has revolutionized our ability to evaluate surgical areas and plan entire surgeries all in advance. We can evaluate the implant site for an optimal outcome by assessing remaining bone volume, jaw anatomy, nerve locations, and available implant space, resulting in a custom-made implant that will work perfectly for your needs. Furthermore, we can make custom surgical guides to guide our placement of implants into the jaw bone which makes surgery less invasive, more predictable, and much quicker.
Metal-free dental implant options
At Nashville Restorative Dentistry we now also offer zirconia dental implants — an effective alternative to traditional metal implants. Whether you are allergic to the traditional titanium used in implants, or just want to avoid exposure to titanium and other metal alloys, zirconia implants are an effective alternative.
If you are considering dental implants for tooth replacement, contact our dental office located in Franklin, TN to learn more about this effective and long-lasting solution.