Since they were first used several decades ago, dental implants have become the “gold standard” for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are preferred over alternative treatments like dental bridges and partial dentures because they have a number of unique benefits.
Compared to alternative treatments like a fixed bridge or a removable partial denture, dental implants restore the natural function of your tooth more effectively. After it heals, your implant essentially becomes a natural part of your mouth. It will bond with your jaw bone through a process called osseointegration, and can easily support a restoration like a dental crown. Your implant will feel completely natural when you smile, bite, and chew.
Partial dentures require regular cleaning and maintenance, and must be taken out and kept in a special solution at night. Dental bridges don’t require as much special care, but it can be hard to brush and floss around the bridgework.
In contrast, dental implants require no special care. All you have to do is brush and floss around your implant like you normally would, and see Dr. Au for regular teeth cleanings.
Dental implants last longer than any other treatment. With proper oral hygiene, you can expect your implant to last 30+ years. Many patients will be able to keep their implants for the rest of their lives. In contrast, partial dentures may need to be replaced every 5 years, while bridges usually last 10 years at most.
Dental implants are placed deeply within your jaw and gum tissue, and they will bond permanently with the surrounding tissue for a sturdy hold. Your implant will be completely stable, and it will never shift or move. Alternative treatments like partial dentures tend to shift and move when you speak and eat, unless they’re held in place with dental adhesive, which can be uncomfortable, annoying, and embarrassing. But with implants, you can eat your favorite foods, speak, and smile without ever worrying about whether your teeth will shift.
Because your implant bonds and fuses with the jaw bone after it heals, it actually helps strengthen and preserve the jaw over time. When you lose a tooth, the jaw bone below your missing tooth will usually start to deteriorate, in a process called “bone resorption.”
This is because the jaw bone is no longer stimulated by the pressure of biting and chewing which would normally be transmitted through the root of your missing tooth. However, because a dental implant acts as an artificial root, it transmits pressure to the jaw bone, and helps stimulate it to keep it healthy.
If you’re considering dental implants and would like to learn more, come in for a consultation with Dr. Colin Au at Peninsula Dental Excellence in Mountain View. At your appointment, Dr. Au will examine your mouth and help you determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants. Give us a call at (650) 968-9186, or stop by our office at 1704 Miramonte Avenue, Suite 4, Mountain View, California 94040 to schedule your appointment in person.