Around 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. There are excellent reasons to consider replacing missing teeth, and there are options for replacements. Dental implants are considered the gold standard for tooth replacement.
Dr. Stephen Hiroshige and his staff understand that sometimes tooth loss is unavoidable, and we want you to understand the reasons replacing a missing tooth is important. We’d also like to explain why we think dental implants are the best option. Here are five benefits of dental implants.
1. Your other teeth stay where they are
One of the reasons it’s important to replace a missing tooth is that if you don’t, your other teeth can shift into the empty space. This shifting can cause your bite to be misaligned, make hygiene more difficult, and even cause the shape of your face to change.
If your bite becomes misaligned, your teeth may become chipped or cracked, or chewing and talking may become more difficult. When your remaining teeth shift, you may find that it’s much more difficult to brush all of the surfaces of your teeth or that flossing is harder to do well.
2. A dental implant is attractive
A dental implant consists of three parts. A titanium post is implanted into your gum and is a replacement for your natural tooth roots. An abutment cap sits on top of the post and attaches to the part of the implant you can see, the dental crown.
From the outside, your dental implant looks like your other teeth. Dr. Hiroshige carefully matches the color and appearance of your crown to your other teeth.
3. No special equipment is required
You don’t have to do anything special to care for your dental implant. You simply take care of it as you do your natural teeth. Brush thoroughly twice per day. Floss once a day. See Dr. Hiroshige twice a year for checkups.
You don’t need a special cleaner or brush. Your implant is permanent, so you don’t have to take it out to clean it.
4. A lifetime replacement
If you care for your dental implant carefully and see to your oral health generally, your implant could well last a lifetime. Dental implants are one of the most durable tooth replacement options that exists.
5. Bone health
Many people don’t realize that losing a tooth can impact your bone health. Each time you bite down with your natural teeth, their roots stimulate your jaw bone. That stimulation encourages blood flow to the bone, and blood delivers nutrients.
When you lose a tooth, its roots no longer stimulate your jawbone. Over time, you may begin to experience bone loss.
The titanium post component of a dental implant serves as a prosthetic tooth root. It bonds to your jawbone, and eventually it provides the same stimulation your tooth root did.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, schedule an appointment to discuss your options for replacement with Dr. Hiroshige. A dental implant is an excellent option, but there are others, as well.