By: Dr. Lahiru Chandraweera

March 03, 2023

Smile Confidently Again: Exploring the Life-Changing Benefits of Dental Implants for Improved Oral Health

Living with missing teeth can be a challenge, affecting not just your appearance but also your overall oral health and well-being. From feeling self-conscious in photos to difficulty chewing your favourite foods, this dental problem can negatively impact your quality of life.

Dental implants are a revolutionary treatment that helps address a wide range of oral health issues, including missing teeth. They’re designed to act as artificial tooth roots, providing a strong and stable foundation for your new pearly whites.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into dental implant benefits, including their success rate, how they can impact oral health and more. So, buckle up and get ready as we explore this innovative treatment’s life-changing features, which will give you every reason to flash that beautiful smile with confidence once more.

Summary of The Content

  • Missing teeth can negatively impact your quality of life and overall oral health.

  • Dental implants are an innovative treatment designed to act as artificial tooth roots, providing a strong and stable foundation for new artificial teeth.

  • The advantages of dental implants include preventing bone loss, restoring bite force, providing support to nearby teeth, preserving the facial shape, matching natural teeth and building a solid and sturdy foundation for replacement teeth.

  • Dental implants require several appointments and a more extended treatment period than other tooth replacement options. Along with these, they offer long-lasting benefits.

  • The success rate of dental implants is about 90 to 95 per cent and depends on various factors, including the patient’s overall health, bone quality, implant location, and dental implant provider’s experience.

  • By preventing bone loss, maintaining healthy bone density, preventing adjacent teeth from shifting, and enabling easier oral hygiene maintenance, dental implants can improve overall oral health.

  • Potential drawbacks of dental implants include cost, surgical risks, and implant failure.

  • Candidates for dental implants must meet several criteria, including good oral health condition, sufficient bone density, being a non-smoker, having realistic expectations, and a commitment to oral hygiene.

  • Dental implants offer several advantages compared to other tooth replacement options, including resembling and feeling like actual teeth, requiring less maintenance, providing comfortable chewing, lasting longer, and preserving jawbone tissue.

  • It’s crucial to consult with a dental professional to determine if dental implants are the right choice for your unique needs and goals.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a remarkable innovation in dental technology that has changed how we perceive tooth replacement. Essentially, they are artificial tooth roots made from safe, biocompatible materials such as titanium that are surgically inserted into the jawbone.

The process of getting dental implants involves several appointments. To begin with, the implant is surgically placed into the jawbone, where it will fuse with the bone tissue over several months. During this time, the dentist may fit a temporary tooth replacement to help protect the newly placed dental implant. Once the implant is fully integrated or fused with the jawbone, an artificial replacement tooth or teeth can be attached to it using an abutment.

The Incredible Benefits of Dental Implants

As modern and durable options for tooth replacement, dental implants offer several benefits that make them worth considering. Let’s explore these benefits in more detail.

  • Prevents bone loss.
    When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone tissue shrinks and deteriorates over time. Dental implants help prevent jawbone loss by stimulating the growth of new bone tissue, which helps maintain the integrity and health of the jawbone.

  • Matches natural teeth.
    One of the significant advantages of dental implants is their ability to match seamlessly with your natural teeth. Unlike bridges or dentures, which can be more noticeable, dental implants look and feel like real teeth since they become incorporated with the jawbone.

  • Restores bite force.
    Rather than sitting on top of your gums like other tooth replacement options, dental implants are directly anchored into the jawbone with metal posts that serve as artificial tooth roots. As a result, dental implants can restore your bite force and let you enjoy your favourite foods without hassle.

  • Provides support to nearby teeth.
    Dental implants are a great way to support adjacent teeth and maintain the structure of your smile. By filling the gap left by a missing tooth, this dental treatment helps prevent other teeth from shifting, which can lead to bite misalignments.

  • Preserves your facial shape.
    Losing a tooth can lead to changes in facial contour, giving a sunken appearance. This can be avoided with dental implants. They prevent bone resorption and provide support to the lips and cheeks, which helps in maintaining facial structure and aesthetics. This results in a more youthful-looking appearance.

  • Solid and durable.
    Dental implants also provide unparalleled stability and a solid foundation for replacement teeth. This way, you can eat, speak, and smile confidently without worrying about your prosthetic teeth shifting or falling out of place.

  • Long-lasting tooth replacement option. Unlike traditional bridges or removable dentures, which need replacement every few years, dental implants are designed to last much longer— 25 years or more with proper care and maintenance.

Success Rate of Dental Implants

The success rate of dental implants varies depending on several factors, including the patient’s overall health, the quality of the bone in the jaw, the location of the dental implant in the mouth, and the experience and skill of the oral health care provider.

On average, dental implants have a success rate of about 90 to 95 per cent. Hence, in most cases, this treatment option is highly effective and reliable for restoring tooth loss. It is possible to maintain the long-term effectiveness of dental implants through proper care and maintenance, including getting regular dental check-ups and following good oral hygiene habits.

The Difference Dental Implants Make for Your Oral Health

Dental implants can help you achieve improved oral health. They are a long-term option for replacing missing teeth that can provide many rewards beyond just enhancing your appearance.

To begin with, dental implants can help prevent bone resorption in your jaw. When a tooth is missing, the bone that used to surround the tooth loses stimulation and starts to shrink or deteriorate over time. Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone and provide the necessary stimulation to maintain healthy bone density. This helps prevent bone resorption and helps maintain the overall structure of your jaw.

In addition, they can also help prevent the shifting of adjacent teeth. When a tooth is missing, the neighbouring teeth can start to shift and move out of place, creating spaces between teeth and causing issues with your bite and overall dental health. Dental implants replace missing teeth and, in doing so, prevent the shifting of adjacent teeth.

Compared to other tooth replacement options, such as conventional dentures and bridges, dental implants are more durable and can be cared for just like natural teeth. Thus, they can help maintain good oral hygiene. As a result, it is easier to brush and floss regularly, helping to minimise the chances of developing gum or periodontal disease and tooth decay.

Preventing Bone Loss With Dental Implants

When you lose a tooth, the bone that previously supported the tooth may begin to deteriorate since the tooth’s root is no longer stimulating it. This process is called bone resorption.

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are placed in the jawbone to support a replacement tooth. They are made of biocompatible materials such as titanium that fuse with the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. Essentially, this creates a stable foundation for the replacement tooth and stimulates the surrounding bone, which helps prevent further bone loss.

Potential Drawbacks of Dental Implants

While dental implants are generally considered a safe and effective tooth replacement option, there are some drawbacks associated with the procedure. These include the following:

  • Cost.
    Dental implants are more expensive than other tooth replacement options, such as dentures or bridges. The average cost can vary depending on several factors, such as the number of implants needed, the complexity of the procedure, the materials used, where you live and the location of the clinic you choose.

  • Not covered by the health fund.
    Unfortunately, dental implants are considered an elective procedure and are generally not covered by most health fund providers. Despite this, there are other plans that can cover part of the treatment costs. It is highly recommended to check your health fund policy to be financially prepared before starting your journey towards improved oral health.

  • Requires multiple treatment processes.
    The dental implant process requires several dental appointments. The entire process can take several months to complete, as it involves several stages of treatment, including implant placement, the healing process, and the placement of the final restoration.

  • Surgical risks.
    Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure that carries some risks. However, with proper care and maintenance, most patients experience no issues and enjoy all the benefits of a healthy, beautiful smile.

    The most common complications associated with dental implants are infection and nerve damage. In addition, there is a chance of damaging surrounding teeth during the surgical placement process. Fortunately, these complications tend to be extremely rare. Patients must do their research and choose a dentist who follows strict protocols with implant dentistry to maximise safety and accuracy during the dental procedure.

  • Potential implant failure.
    Although dental implants have a high success rate, there is always a risk of implant failure. A dental implant failure occurs when the implant fails to fuse with the surrounding bone. Dental implants usually have a 5% to 10% failure rate. Factors that can increase the risk of implant failure include poor oral hygiene, smoking, certain medical conditions, and other lifestyle factors.

Eligible Candidates for Dental Implants

Dental implants provide the opportunity for improved aesthetics and functionality. However, they are not suitable for everyone. Generally, candidates for this treatment must meet the following criteria:

  • Good oral health condition.
    The first step in determining whether or not you are an eligible candidate for dental implants is to have a thorough examination by an oral health professional. During this exam, they will check your overall oral health condition. If any signs of tooth decay or active gum disease are present, your dentist must address them before proceeding with a dental implant procedure. Your medical history will also be reviewed and considered to determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants.

  • Adequate bone density.
    The jawbone needs adequate bone density and strength to support the dental implant. In most cases, if the patient lacks sufficient bone density, they should undergo bone grafting prior to implant placement.

  • Non-smoker.
    Smoking can significantly decrease blood flow throughout your body, including your teeth and gums, which can increase the chance of complications and impede healing after oral surgery. For this reason, it’s essential that patients refrain from smoking before and after the implant surgery to achieve optimal results.

  • Set realistic expectations.
    Prior to dental surgery, it is important to be well-informed regarding the procedure in order to make an informed choice. Getting a brand-new smile with dental implants doesn’t happen overnight. A comprehensive understanding of the process, potential risks and how long it takes to heal after dental implant surgery is necessary to help you set clear expectations.

  • Commitment to dental hygiene.
    To maximise the result of your dental implant treatment, you must be committed to practising a good oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth twice daily, floss regularly, and see your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and examinations.It’s important to note that every patient is unique, and a thorough evaluation by a dental professional is necessary to determine if dental implants are a suitable option for your particular situation.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants Compared to Other Tooth Replacement Alternatives?

In the past few years, dental implants have become one of the popular treatments chosen by patients. Let’s take a closer look and discover the unique advantages of dental implants that make dental implants stand out from other alternative treatments:

  • Resemble and feel like your natural teeth.
    Dental implants are designed and customised to match the colour, size, and shape of your natural teeth, providing a natural appearance and feel. Plus, they are made of biocompatible materials, such as titanium, which fuse with the jawbone and provide a stable base for the replacement tooth. This allows the implant to function like a natural tooth, enabling you to eat, speak, and smile with confidence.

  • Less maintenance.
    Unlike traditional dentures or dental bridges, dental implants don’t need to be removed or cleaned with special cleaning devices. They can be brushed and flossed just like you would your natural teeth, making it easier to maintain good oral hygiene.

  • Provide more comfortable chewing.
    Compared to other alternatives, dental implants offer more security and comfort when chewing. They provide a sturdy foundation for your replacement teeth, allowing you to chew foods with confidence without worrying about your replacement teeth falling or slipping out of place.

  • Last longer.
    Dental implants are the way to go if you’re looking for a more durable option for replacing missing teeth. In contrast with dentures and bridges, which need to be replaced every few years, dental implants can stay firmly in place for 20-30 years with the proper care and maintenance.

  • Preserve the jawbone tissue.
    When a tooth is lost, the surrounding jawbone tissue begins to resorb. This can lead to a sunken or aged appearance and impact the health and stability of your remaining teeth. Dental implants stimulate the jawbone tissue like natural teeth, helping preserve its structure and strength.

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

Dental implants are an excellent solution for those with missing teeth, but they may not be the right choice for everyone. Factors such as oral health, jawbone condition, oral hygiene habits, lifestyle, and overall health must be considered.

For example, those with gum disease or bone loss may not be ideal candidates for implants, and those with a history of smoking or diabetes may experience complications during the implant procedure. However, it is important to note that with proper treatment and management, conditions such as gum disease and bone loss can often be controlled and managed, allowing the patient to become eligible for the procedure. Additionally, patients who make positive lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, can greatly improve their chances of implant success.

Ultimately, it is the dentist who can determine if dental implants are right for an individual after a thorough evaluation of their dental and medical history. Consulting with a dental professional is crucial in making an informed decision about dental implant suitability.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants are a game-changer in dentistry, providing a long-lasting and natural-looking replacement for missing teeth. From preventing bone loss to improved oral health, a wide range of dental implant benefits make them popular for patients.

While there are potential drawbacks to consider, such as cost and the need for multiple treatment appointments, the benefits of dental implants far outweigh them. It’s important to note that not everyone may be a suitable candidate for dental implants, and it’s always advisable to consult with a dental professional to determine if this treatment can cater to your unique needs and goals.

If you want to learn more about dental implant benefits and how they can boost your oral health, contact our experienced team at Hills Family Dental Centre. We can help you understand the process, answer any questions, create a treatment plan based on your situation, and provide the information you need to make an informed decision about your dental health. Make the first step toward a healthy, confident smile with dental implants!