If you have one or more missing teeth, you may already know that dental implants are a great way to permanently restore your smile. Dental implants provide a wide variety of benefits that other smile restoration options, such as dentures or dental bridges, do not.
But how do you know when to get dental implants?
Deciding when to get dental implants can be challenging. After all, losing one or more teeth is always stressful and sometimes it can be embarrassing, so you probably want to restore your smile as soon as possible. What’s more, you may know that missing teeth can also cause you to lose important bone density, and can even change the shape of your face to make you look older than you’d like.
Our dentist provides the dental implants Enumclaw WA residents rely on for a great smile, and we are glad to answer all your questions about dental implants - including the best time to restore your smile with dental implants.
Dental implants are the only permanent solution to a missing tooth. A dental bridge lasts only 5 to 15 years, while a dental implant creates a permanent tooth root that holds a natural-looking dental crown.
Our dentist can replace all the teeth on your upper or lower jaw with “all on four” dental implants. This innovative solution to missing teeth uses four dental implants to support a full upper or lower denture.
You want to make a one-time investment in replacing a missing tooth or teeth
While dental implants cost more than dental bridges or dentures, it is a one-time investment. Dental bridges and dentures need replacing every few years, while dental implants can last for decades.
Dental implants require healthy gums. Your gums create a tight seal around your teeth and dental implants. This seal protects the roots of your teeth and implants from food particles and bacteria.
Gum disease can cause pockets to develop between your teeth and your gums. These pockets can extend all the way down to the roots of your teeth and your jawbone. Bacteria can dive deep into the pockets to cause infection in your gums, teeth, roots, and jawbone.
If you have gum disease, your dentist may recommend that you treat your gum disease before you get your dental implants. This treatment, known as periodontal treatment, involves cleaning bacteria from deep pockets to help restore healthy gum tissue.
Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant can help you maintain an appealing smile, of course, but it can also help you maintain good oral health. When you lose a tooth, the adjacent teeth tend to drift into the gap created by the missing tooth; as they move, the teeth can turn and tilt to push against other teeth. Poorly-aligned and crooked teeth can make it difficult to remove food particles and decay-causing bacteria by brushing and flossing.
Dental implants fill in the gap left by a missing tooth, ensuring that your teeth stay in place and are easy to clean.
A healthy jawbone holds your teeth and your dental implant securely in place. Your teeth also help your jawbone stay healthy. Biting and chewing puts a significant amount of pressure on your teeth. The force of this pressure moves down your teeth and roots, and then into your jawbone. This pressure stimulates the growth of new bone tissue in your jawbone.
When you lose a tooth, you also lose the beneficial pressure that promotes bone tissue growth. In time, the affected area of the bone loses density and strength, which means it loses the ability to hold nearby teeth in place. Loss of jaw bone can also change the shape of your face in ways that make you look older.
For more information on the right time to get dental implants, consult with your dentist. We offer a wide variety of dental services to keep your smile looking its best.