You know you have problems with your teeth – you’re the one who looks at them in the mirror every day, of course. But how do you figure out the best option for fixing those problems? For some people, the best way to correct your smile and give you the ability to talk and eat with fewer problems is dental implants.
The first step in deciding to seek out dental implants is always to make an appointment with your dentist for a thorough examination and a conversation. If you’re wondering, though, if dental implants might help you, here are a few signs that it’s time to ask your dentist about them.
Whether it’s one or several, missing teeth are often a source of embarrassment and aggravation. You might not feel comfortable smiling, talking in public, or even laughing. You shy away in case someone sees the gaps in your mouth, leaving you insecure when you meet new people or see old friends. Dental implants fill those gaps in your mouth and look natural, so no one has to know you’re missing any teeth.
You turned to partials or dentures for missing teeth, or you’ve had a bridge for a while. But now they’re loose. You’re afraid they’ll fall out of your mouth when you or talk, and they make chewing very difficult. It’s hard to speak or eat, and you’re constantly worried about them. Dental implants are secured directly into your mouth. You don’t have to worry about loosening or anything falling out because they act like your natural teeth.
Ideally, when a patient has problems with their teeth, a good dentist wants to save as much natural tooth as possible. Sometimes, especially with severely cracked or broken teeth, this just isn’t possible. It’s even worse of those teeth are causing severe pain, which can and does happen. Dental implants replace your broken teeth with a more natural looking tooth and give you back a natural smile while reducing pain you may experience.
Some problems with your mouth are due to basic dental issues like cavities. Others are part of ongoing issues like TMJ, teeth grinding, or bite issues. Of course, your dentist will try to correct these problems without dental implants first. But if everything else fails, and you’re unable to chew, eat, or speak properly, dental implants may be the solution.
Some teeth are so bad, like an infected tooth, that a simple repair won’t help. While your dentist will look for an easier, less invasive option first, sometimes the only fix is to pull the tooth. If not, it could lead to infections in your other teeth. The good news is that once pulled, your dentist can replace the tooth with an implant and no one but you will ever know the difference.
If you’ve had dentures or missing teeth for a while, you may notice a change in your face. It appears sunken, thinner, and even older. This is likely because you’re experiencing bone loss in your jaw. The titanium rod implanted into your jawbone as part of the dental implant procedure actually stimulates your jawbone, especially when you chew, preventing bone loss. Dentures don’t and over time, your face will change.
In the beginning, dentures may have seemed like an affordable option. Unfortunately, they need to be replaced every seven to 15 years making them expensive over the long term. Plus they need to be cleaned in special ways, and you have to use special adhesive cream to keep them in your mouth. This can be a major hassle. Dental implants are treated like natural teeth – no special creams or cleaning. Even better, they last about 20 years if you take care of them making them, over time, more affordable.
Dental implants aren’t for everyone. If you’ve got unhealthy gums or severe bone loss in your law, you may not be a good candidate. But if any of these descriptions fit your situation, it may be time to talk to your dentist about dental implants. They can give you back a natural looking smile and your confidence while preventing future problems with your teeth and jaw.