Did you know that more than 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth and over 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? Fortunately, advancements in technology have led to the invention of dental implants. If you wait, you may have to settle for bridges and dentures instead, which are less favored by dentists due to their inability to preserve oral and dental health. Here are several serious consequences that you will have to face if you don't install implants.
The Basics of Dental Implants
First things first, let's take a look at what dental implants are. Dental implants are made from titanium, as it is biologically compatible with the human body and does not corrode. The implants look like screws, cones or nails, and are placed deep into the bone to create the foundation needed for a crown to be installed over top. Dental implants have a success rate of 98% if they are installed immediately.
Consequences You'll Face If You Do Not Opt for Implants
If you are missing a single tooth or several teeth, dental implants may not be your only option. If you are not comfortable with the idea of getting dental implants, you can opt for bridges or dentures instead; however, these two options have been known to provide a lesser experience than dental implants. Common consequences that you will have to face if you do not get dental implants include:
- Facial collapse and premature aging. You can expect bone loss following tooth loss, as the body no longer has a need for the excess amount of bone since it does not hold anything in place. These bones will resorb, and studies have shown that a 25% decrease in bone loss can be expected from the first year alone. These bones are responsible for providing support to the facial muscles and tissues. Patients who experience bone loss will also experience facial collapse, as there is a lack of structural support in the face. This in turn will cause premature aging. In short, you'll look much older than what you actually are.
- Structural and condition deterioration of remaining teeth and bone. While bridges and dentures will keep the remaining teeth in the right positions, they may weaken adjacent teeth they are anchored to, as they overload and weaken them. This may cause the affected teeth to weaken, become loose or even get infected. Dental implants, on the other hand, are independent of other teeth and will not cause any structural or conditional deterioration of surrounding teeth.
- Speech disturbances. Dentures and bridges are quite bulky in nature. As a result, they may limit tongue movement, which can cause speech impairments and disturbances. Dental implants are not as bulky, and will actually look and feel like your natural teeth. As a result, they limit the chances of speech disturbances significantly, as they do not interfere with any muscle movements at all.
Keep in mind that the psychological effects between choosing dental implants or bridges or dentures can be severe as well. It varies from individual to individual; however, since dentures and bridges do not feel natural, some patients claim that they feel that their dentures or bridges prevent them from having a quality social life.
Although dental implants are a bit more expensive to install than bridges or dentures, they are definitely well worth the investment. If you make the effort to maintain the dental implants, they can easily last a lifetime. The dental crowns that are placed on top have been known to last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. If you are missing teeth, speak with a dentist immediately to determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. Don't wait. The longer that you wait, the more bone loss you will experience.
Check out sites like http://www.inserodentalimplants.com/ for more information.