Many of us will experience tooth loss sooner or later, especially as we continue to age. Those who do will experience the loss of a tooth due to medical conditions such as gum disease, or perhaps as a result of trauma.
However a tooth may be lost, it’s not a desirable outcome, and can lead to low levels of self esteem, difficulties with eating and speaking, oral health issues, and even a change to the shape of the face.
Our teeth are an important part of us, so it’s always important to seek a fix quickly when a tooth is lost or damaged, and of all of the available treatments for lost or damaged teeth, dental implants are one of the most popular.
But why are dental implants so popular? Well, there are a number of reasons why, and especially why dental implants are often so much more sought after than other alternatives such as dentures or dental bridges. For a start, dental implants require next to no maintenance, and don’t need to be removed at night to clean like dentures and dental bridges do. Dental implants essentially operate just as a natural tooth would, and due to their design, they offer an incredibly high success rate of between 95% and 98%.
What many are keen to ask though, is are dental implants actually superior to the real thing?
Real Teeth vs. Dental Implants
It’s an often pondered question, and one which in theory sounds like it could potentially be true. When getting down to it though, it’s not such a black and white issue as it may at first seem.
Certainly, if you’re wondering if your dentist will replace any healthy natural teeth with a dental implant, the answer is always going to be no. Furthermore, if the choice is going to come between restoring a natural tooth or replacing it with a dental implant, your dentist is always going to choose to restore the natural tooth. Dental implant surgery is a fairly hefty procedure, with a number of steps and a lot of healing time, which many patients (unsurprisingly) can find quite aggravating (not to mention expensive).
When boiled down to it, any healthy natural tooth is always going to be better than a dental implant, however there will be specific times and circumstances where an alternative will be the better option. In cases where a fair amount of decay or gum disease has come into play, a fair number of health issues could start to arise, including osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, a reduction in insulin effectiveness for diabetics, and it could even cause a stroke. If issues like these could potentially be on the horizon, then a dental implant would be a much healthier option going forward.
Unlike a natural tooth though, a dental implant won’t decay, so there’s no need for any worry as far as root canals or cavities and the like are concerned. A dental implant can also help with bone density, where the jawbone may have been eroded somewhat if it’s been a while since a missing tooth was lost. In this instance, a bone graft will need to be performed on the jawbone to restore its density and mass. Furthermore, there’s no reason why a well-maintained dental implant shouldn’t last a lifetime.
Where there may be a slight point of contention with the strength and ability of a dental implant is when it comes to its bite. A dental implant can only really restore around 80% of a lost bite—although that’s still leaps and bounds ahead of other alternatives like dentures or dental bridges, which can only restore 20%. Therefore, some care will have to be taken when it comes to eating certain foods. For a time after your implants have been installed you’ll only be able to consume liquids, before moving gradually onto soft foods and then harder foods again. Some of the most problematic foods you’ll want to take care with are hard foods, and consuming things such as nuts, ice, or biting into an apple will have to come with some level of precaution (or not at all in the case of biting ice). The same goes for eating hard candy or sticky and chewy candy too, and popcorn can be especially tricky with all of the hidden tough kernels that like to sneak their way in and take you by surprise.
Ultimately though, these are all foods that you’ll probably want to take some degree of care in eating with your natural teeth anyway, but it’s worth noting that a dental implant will be that little bit more susceptible to damage when eating harder foods.
So Who Would be Eligible for Dental Implants?
There are a few factors your dentist will want to consider before deciding whether or not you’re the ideal candidate for dental implants. Each patient will obviously differ from one another, so the following is more of a broad guide to what your dentist will be on the look out for:
— First and foremost, in order to ensure long-lasting and successful dental implants, a good level of oral hygiene is an absolute must. Dental implants are to be treated just like regular teeth, and therefore require the same levels of brushing and flossing if you’re to avoid them becoming infected.
— To ensure the implant can properly fuse with the jawbone, a decent amount of bone density is required. For this reason, children are typically not going to be considered for the treatment, due to their bones still developing.
— A good level of health is required before going into dental implant surgery, and therefore any diabetics, smokers, or heavy drinkers may be unsuitable candidates.
— Clenching or grinding teeth can lead to damaged implants. Anyone prone to clenching or grinding their teeth may need to wear a mouth guard at night if their dentist is going to consider them for dental implants.
If you’re thinking that dental implants might be the ideal solution to your missing or broken teeth, then get in touch today for a free dental implants Turkey quote, and find out how we can tailor make you your perfect all-inclusive dental implants treatment package today.