Why Do I Need A Dental Implant?

Why Do I Need A Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, often made with titanium, that is placed in the jaw to hold a replacement tooth. A common misconception is the implant is the replacement tooth, but it is actually a cap or crown while just the root is the implant.

Fun Fact: The American Academy of Implant Dentistry reports that the first evidence of dental implants traces back to 600 AD when shells were hammered into the jaw of a Mayan woman.

Why do missing teeth need to be replaced?

People visit the dentist for dental implants to replace missing or damaged teeth due to decay, gum disease, injury, disease or simply wear and tear. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, more than 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. Of those many Americans who are missing teeth, many of them suffer from an inhibited ability to chew food or to eat certain types of foods which can lead to poor nutrition. Missing teeth can also affect one’s speech or cause a lisp.

One of the not as obvious but equally important reasons to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant is to prevent bone loss. The alveolar bone (the bone that your teeth sit on) needs stimulation to maintain it’s shape and density. When you have teeth and chew food, that stimulation happens regularly. When teeth are missing, the alveolar bone doesn’t get the stimulation it needs and can begin to lose density. It happens are a significant rate, too! DearDoctor.com reports that the alveolar bone can lose 25 percent of its width and 4 millimenters in height in just one year after tooth loss. The jaw bone can also begin to deteriorate which causes the chin to come forward and upward. If you are missing several teeth the skin around your mouth isn’t supported properly and it can begin to sag.

Depending on where your missing tooth is, without filling the empty space your remaining teeth can begin to shift. This can make a significant change in your chewing pattern, the wearing down of different teeth, and can cause a crooked and less confident smile. PR Newswire reports that a third of Americans say the first thing they notice about someone is their smile and that 87 percent of Americans would forego something for an entire year to have a nice smile.

Benefits of a dental implant

People choose dental implants for several reasons: durability (they can last a lifetime), high success rates (98 percent according to WebMD), they’re cavity resistant, and they don’t disturb surrounding teeth the way bridges do.

If you have more questions or are curious about the procedure, call our office 406.652.9204 and schedule a consultation.

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