Oral Health and Genetic Risk Factors

7 Signs You Should Talk With Your Dentist About Implants

A generation ago, no one was talking about implants, but now, they've become increasingly popular. To put it in simple terms, a dental implant is a crown that is placed on a small metal post. The post is actually implanted directly into your jaw bone, and your bone grows around it. Here are seven signs you may want to consider implants.

1. You Want a Permanent Replacement for a Missing Tooth

Because dental implants are put right into your bone, they offer a permanent solution to a missing tooth. If you don't want to deal with a gap in your mouth, this is a great way to fill that space in a semi-permanent way. The post lasts forever, and the crown portion of the implant can last fifteen years or more.

2. You Want a Permanent Substitute for Dentures

If you're missing several teeth, you may be thinking about partial dentures, but that requires you to take in and out the dentures at the end of every day. Luckily, an implant can help in this situation as well. The dentist puts in two implants in the spots on the outside edges of the missing teeth. Then, the dentist attaches a bridge to those implants.

3. You Want Realistic-Looking Teeth Replacements

Whether you need a replacement for a single tooth or multiple teeth, implants provide a very realistic look. No one should ever even be able to tell you don't have your real teeth. The dentist can either create a mould that perfectly copies your existing teeth, or he or she can use 3D imaging to figure out what shape the implant should be.

You can also go for options such as custom colouring. That really ensures that the implants blend in with the rest of your teeth.

4. You Don't Want to Lose Jaw Bone

Unfortunately, when you are missing a tooth, your jaw bone starts to disintegrate. Basically, the jaw bone needs to be used, and when there's no tooth there, it doesn't get used. As a result, the body begins to believe that it doesn't need the jaw bone, and the jaw bone starts to disappear.

This creates a cycle. The missing jaw bone allows other teeth in that area to become loose and potentially fall out. Then, even more of the jaw bone starts to disintegrate. An implant helps prevent this cycle from starting.

Basically, when the implant is in place, it uses the jaw bone, and that prevents the disintegration. Similarly, when you have dentures, they don't go into the jaw bone, and you may face this issue with bone disintegration. Implants attached to bridges help you maintain your jaw bone.

5. Your Jaw Bone Currently Is Healthy

Of course, you need a healthy jaw bone to get an implant. If the cycle mentioned above has already started in your mouth, you may not be a good candidate. However, in these cases, your dentist may be able to do a bone graft so that you can move forward with the implant.

6. You Want to Protect Your Bite

Missing a tooth doesn't just affect the health of your jaw bone. It can also affect your bite, which is how your teeth fit together. When you're missing a tooth, that can throw off the whole bite. Your teeth may start rubbing against each other in ways that cause other teeth to wear down. An implant can help protect your bite.

7. You Feel Self Conscious About Your Smile

If you are already missing a tooth and it's in a visible spot, you may feel embarrassed. If that's that case, you may also want to consider an implant. Fixing your smile can help safeguard you self confidence.