young adult woman flossing her teethAre you missing one or more teeth? Or are you facing the loss of your first tooth? If so, then you have to consider your tooth replacement options to decide how you want to replace your missing teeth. The normal tooth replacement options are dental implants, dental bridges, and removable dentures. 

At Luxe Smiles, our Palmetto Bay dentists recommend dental implants for most people. That’s because dental implants offer many benefits, including:

  • Function like natural teeth
  • Look like natural teeth
  • Support themselves
  • Work for most people in most situations
  • Help you retain bone
  • Are easy to care for
  • Can last a lifetime

With these benefits, it’s no wonder that dental implants continue to grow in popularity. 

Dental Implants Work Like Natural Teeth

One of the best things about dental implants is that they work like natural teeth. That’s because dental implants anchor in your jawbone, similar to the way natural teeth do. 

A dental implant is technically an artificial tooth root. Usually made of titanium, when your Palmetto Bay implant dentist inserts it into the jaw, your body will grow bone that bonds to the bone. Bone doesn’t just grow around the implant; it attaches to the implant in a process called osseointegration. 

We then place a dental crown for one tooth or a bridge for several teeth atop the implant or implants. The crown or bridge is fully secure and can work just like your natural teeth for almost all purposes.

Dental Implants Look Natural

Although the dental implant itself is made of titanium, this part is hidden in your jawbone or gums. The visible part of the dental implant is a dental crown or bridge. We normally choose crowns and bridges made of advanced ceramic that is not only durable but has the same texture, color, and luster as natural tooth enamel. These restorations will look just like your natural teeth. 

This makes them much more natural in appearance than dentures, which are often made of plastic gums and plastic teeth. 

Dental Implants Support Themselves

Many tooth replacements rely on your natural teeth and gums for support. A dental bridge is a tooth replacement that uses dental crowns over natural teeth to support a replacement tooth. Partial dentures may have clasps or hooks that go around your remaining teeth. In both cases, this can put supporting teeth at risk. Dentures rest on your gums, which are soft tissue that’s ill-suited to supporting bite forces. This can lead to gum pain, sometimes to the point that you can’t use them to eat. 

However, dental implants anchor in your jawbone to support themselves. They don’t put your teeth at risk and don’t put painful stress on your gums. 

Dental Implants Are Versatile

Another great thing about dental implants is that they are versatile. We can use them to replace any number of lost teeth. We can use a single dental implant to replace one lost tooth or use All-on-4 to support an entire arch of lost teeth with just four dental implants. This makes them different from dental bridges, which are usually only good for replacing a single lost tooth. 

Plus, most people are good candidates for dental implants. To get dental implants, you need only meet three criteria:

  • Have one or more missing teeth
  • Be old enough that the jawbone has finished growing
  • Be healthy enough for surgery

That’s all. Of course, you need to have missing teeth–or teeth that need extraction–to get dental implants. They’re tooth replacements!

The main way that implants differ from natural teeth is how they respond to bone growth and bone changes. We don’t want to risk potential complications. You need to let your jaw finish growing before you get dental implants–and it’s best not to get orthodontic treatment if you have implants!

Although dental implant surgery is minor surgery, it’s still surgery, so we want to make sure you’re healthy enough. Our Palmetto Bay implant dentists will consult with your doctor for details of your health history. Note that this usually means pregnant women should wait to get implants until after they have their baby or babies. 

For good candidates, dental implants are highly successful–they have a 98% success rate!

Dental Implants Retain Bone

We tend to think that our bones are stable, but they’re actually changing constantly. When you lose one or more teeth, this change becomes pronounced. The body removes the bone that is used to support your teeth. Because dentures and dental bridges don’t use your bone, they don’t stop this process. 

However, dental implants stimulate your bone so that your body will maintain it. It doesn’t work exactly as well as having new natural teeth, but it’s pretty close. This isn’t just good for the implants, it helps you maintain your facial proportions, and it might reduce your risk of jaw fractures. 

Caring for Dental Implants Is Easy

Dental implants are just like natural teeth in terms of care, too. All you have to do is brush, floss, and make regular visits to a Palmetto Bay dentist. 

Dental implants can’t get cavities, but gum disease can develop around them, just as it does around natural teeth. Gum disease is the leading cause of dental implant loss, just as it’s the leading cause of tooth loss. 

Dental Implants Can Last a Lifetime

Just like natural teeth, dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for. What does this mean? Clinical studies show that implants can last 30 years or more, and there are some isolated accounts of people with implants that are in place for 50 years. There is no evidence that dental implants have a finite lifetime.

However, it’s important to know that the crowns or bridges on implants last about the same as the crowns and bridges on natural teeth. They are reliable for 10 years, often last 15, and sometimes last 30, but the odds are good that your Palmetto Bay implant dentist will have to replace the restoration at least once over the life of your implants. 

Considering Dental Implants in Palmetto Bay?

If you are considering dental implants in Palmetto Bay, let the implant dentists at Luxe Smiles help. We can plan your case, place your implants, and top them with durable, cosmetic restorations. 

Please call or use our online form to request an appointment at our office in Palmetto Bay.

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Dr. Anamary Testar