Several years ago, I had to have two of my teeth removed. They had developed such severe cavities that they could not be saved. At the time, I was just so happy to be out of pain from the cavities that I really didn’t put a lot of thought into replacing the missing teeth. Lately, however, I have been thinking how nice it would be to replace those teeth at Taylor Dental Implants & Aesthetics. Although they are just back molars, they still would make it a lot easier to chew my food.
I have been doing some research on whether or not dental implants are the right choice for me. If you are in a similar situation, I am more than happy to share what I have learned.
There are three basic options that you have when it comes to replacing missing teeth. The cheapest option is to go with dentures. Unfortunately, dentures do have some drawbacks. They can be somewhat uncomfortable to wear. Additionally, they can also limit the types of food that you can eat. When you add to that the fact that you have to take them out and clean them every single night, they are not the most convenient or practical solution.
Another option is to replace the missing teeth with a bridge. Bridges are essentially fake teeth that are anchored to the teeth on either side of the gap that is left by the missing teeth. To install a bridge, the dentist first files down the teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge itself consists of a crown on either side that fits over the teeth that have been filed down. Between the two crowns, one or more fake teeth are attached, essentially forming a “bridge” over the gap.
Unlike dentures, you don’t have to take bridges out to clean them. Instead, you just brush them like your regular teeth. You also have to use a special kind of dental floss in order to effectively clean underneath the bridge. The primary downside to bridges is that it requires your dentist to purposely damage otherwise healthy teeth on either side of the gap.
The final option is to get dental implants. These are by far the best option for replacing missing teeth. To place an implant in your mouth, the dentist first anchors a special metal post directly into your jawbone. This post essentially acts like the root of the tooth. A short length of the post sticks up above your gum line, providing an area where a fake tooth can be attached. Once the tooth is in place, it is practically impossible to distinguish it from your actual teeth. You can brush and floss it just like any of your other teeth.
One interesting thing to note about dental implants is that they help preserve the underlying jawbone. Once the tooth is removed and the root is no longer present, the jawbone begins to deteriorate. This can cause the face to take on somewhat of a sunken look, often making the person look much older than they really are. The metal post that is placed into the jawbone with dental implants helps prevent this problem. Once the post is in place, the jawbone won’t deteriorate any further, helping to minimize the chances of premature aging due to tooth loss.
After doing all of this research, I have decided that dental implants are the right choice for me. Hopefully, the information in this article will help you decide whether or not they are the right choice for you as well. If you have any doubt, talk to your dentist about your options so that you can get a better understanding of the pros and cons of each choice.