Dental implants are an increasingly popular way to replace missing teeth. They are the only permanent tooth replacement option, and can give you back your ability to enjoy a full, healthy diet – as well as restoring confidence in your smile.
While dental implants are often described as tooth replacements, they are more accurately replacement tooth roots. Implants are small titanium screws that are placed directly into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Replacement teeth in the form of fixed dentures, bridges or crowns are then attached.
So why should you replace a missing tooth?
The first reason many people have for replacing teeth with dental implants is that it improves the appearance of your smile, and with it your self-confidence. Particularly if you’ve lost teeth near the front of your mouth, your confidence can suffer and you may hide your smile away. But there are other, health-related benefits to replacing missing teeth too.
When teeth are lost, our ability to bite and chew is affected. Additional strain is put on any remaining teeth, and you may find that your diet is restricted to soft foods, putting many favourites and healthy options off the menu.
Over time, the bone beneath missing teeth starts to resorb or shrink back, causing a sunken appearance. Even with standard dentures, this can cause people to look prematurely aged. Dental implants integrate with the bone and support bone growth to help prevent this problem.
Remaining teeth may also move into any gaps, becoming crooked and more difficult to clean, which increases the chances of gum disease and dental decay developing.