Not only do missing teeth affect the appearance of your smile, but these gaps can also affect the function of your talking, chewing, and more. If you are missing one or more teeth, then it’s time to talk to a cosmetic dentist about your options for dental restorations. Dental implants are a popular option, and our team can help you learn more if it’s time for restorative services.
It doesn’t matter the reason you lost the tooth: an accident or extraction. The result is a space in the mouth that needs to be filled. Missing teeth can affect social interactions and self-confidence. So, investing in restorative treatments can be a great way to help you smile bigger.
Signs You Need to Talk to a Dentist about Implants
Dental implants work with a post that acts as the root of the tooth, then a restoration on top to replace the visible part of the missing tooth. An abutment is attached to the post to hold the restoration on the post. The result is a realistic, beautiful appearance that blends with the rest of your smile.
Most people talk to a dentist about implants for two reasons:
- Fill in a Gap: A missing tooth leaves a visible gap in the mouth, which can take a toll on the overall appearance of the smile. If you are hiding your smile because of embarrassment, then it’s time to talk to a dentist.
- Mouth Function: Are you finding that the missing tooth is interfering with your chewing or talking? This is a sign that you might benefit from dental implants.
Benefits of Dental Implants
When you compare dental implants with other types of restorations, it’s easy to see why this service is the preferred choice for many patients. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from dental implants:
- Prevent Bone Loss: The jawbone works as the foundation for your oral health, providing the skeletal structure to hold the teeth in place. When it is necessary to extract one or more teeth, one side effect is that the body starts to reabsorb the jawbone. As a result, it causes a weakening of the jawbone. Other restorative treatments (such as dentures or bridges) don’t protect or preserve the jawbone. But dental implants stimulate and strengthen the jawbone due to the post placement in the jaw. As a result, a quality implant can help you maintain a healthy, strong jawbone.
- Smile and Appearance: Often, we pair dental implant services with a crown or bridge on top. This restorative treatment matches the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth. Many people find it embarrassing to share a smile with others when there are missing teeth. Dental implants eliminate this concern by filling in the gap to give you the cosmetic benefits.
- Minimize Facial Sagging: Did you know that missing teeth can take a toll on the outer facial appearance? When the teeth are gone, it changes your overall appearance because the gums start shrinking. It’s a domino effect that eventually leads to sagging cheeks and a sunken face. These aesthetic issues can make a patient look older. Dental implants help to minimize facial sagging by protecting the jawbone density and the restored teeth hold the rest of the facial structure in place.
- Permanent Replacement: Other types of restorations, such as dentures, are only temporary solutions. If you have dentures, then it takes a lot of care and upkeep to clean the prosthetics. Additionally, there is a risk of embarrassment if the dentures slip out of place when you are talking or eating. In comparison, dental implants function like a natural tooth and can last a lifetime with proper care. Implants stay firmly in place, so you don’t have to worry about them moving or shifting.
- Avoid Tooth Shifting: When there are gaps in the mouth, it can cause other teeth to shift and move. Over time, the shifting teeth become uneven and crowded. This shifting can also cause damage to the other teeth. Dental implants help to avoid this issue.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
The most important thing to understand is that every patient is unique. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for dental restorations and treatments. Our team takes the time to complete a thorough assessment of your mouth. Then, we explain possible options to improve the appearance and function of your smile.
Depending on your unique circumstances, you might benefit from less-invasive services. For example, small cavities are often treated with a basic filling or crown. But if the tooth is damaged beyond repair, then extraction might be necessary. As you are talking to the dentist about the extraction, also learn about your options for restorations.
Here are a few things we are looking for when determining if you are a good candidate for dental implants:
- Good overall dental health
- A strong enough jawbone structure
- Healthy gums to support the implant
- Consistent oral hygiene habits to prevent future complications
When are Dental Implants Not Recommended?
In certain situations, it might not make sense for a patient to choose implants as a restorative treatment. For example, patients who smoke have a higher risk with implants because smoking can affect gum health. So, it’s best to stop smoking if you are preparing for implants.
Additionally, other underlying health conditions could mean that you are not a good candidate for implants. Our dental team will talk to you about your overall health, medical history, medications, and current medical treatments.
Our goal is to optimize the success of each treatment. So, if you aren’t a good candidate for dental implants, then we will gladly talk to you about other types of restoration treatments.
Schedule a Consultation to Learn About Dental Implants
If you are considering dental implants, then the first step is to schedule a consultation to learn more. Our team performs an examination, including digital imaging, to determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment. We offer personalized care for every patient, helping you design a smile that you love. Contact us at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas to schedule a consultation.