Losing teeth can significantly affect your daily life. It can make eating, speaking, and smiling challenging, potentially leading to social withdrawal and decreased self-confidence.
As you age, the risk of losing teeth increases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 26% of adults aged 65 to 74 in the United States have lost all of their permanent teeth. This number increases to 52% for adults aged 75 and over.
Worldwide, tooth loss is also a significant problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tooth loss is the most common oral disease in the world. Nearly 530 million adults aged 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth due to caries (tooth decay).
There are several reasons for tooth loss, including:
- Caries (tooth decay): Caries is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. It is a bacterial infection that destroys the tooth's enamel and dentin, eventually leading to a hole in the tooth. If left untreated, caries can progress to the tooth's pulp, which can cause pain and tooth loss.
- Periodontal disease: Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that can damage the soft tissues and bones that support the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.
- Trauma: Trauma, such as a blow to the face or an accident, can damage the teeth and lead to tooth loss.
- Other factors: Other factors that can contribute to tooth loss include poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, and certain medications.
If missing teeth make you hesitant to talk or smile freely in public, dental implants, commonly referred to as tooth implants, offer an excellent remedy. They consist of artificial teeth attached to a post extension, mimicking the appearance of natural teeth.
In the dental implant process, metal anchors are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. Titanium posts are then securely attached to these anchors. Lifelike prosthetic teeth are then affixed to these posts, restoring your confident and radiant smile.
Five Reasons for the Popularity of Dental Implants
Dental implants proved instrumental in restoring many smiles successfully. So, let's learn the five primary reasons dental implants are popular.
1. A Natural Appearance and a Snug Fit
You may restore your confidence in smiling, talking, and laughing without worrying about the look or stability of your teeth with dental implants. One of the most significant advantages of dental implants is that they are customized for you. Therefore, they appear and operate exactly like your natural teeth.
And, because of their natural look and comfortable fit, none can know that they are artificial. So, if you're weary of hiding your grin or feeling self-conscious about your teeth, consider dental implants to regain your confidence.
2. High Success Rate
Dental implant processes are highly successful because they are carefully planned and well-managed. They can provide a survival rate equivalent to, if not better, other tooth replacement choices. Furthermore, the success rate should improve as implant technology and methods advance.
Moreover, you are more likely to have successful implants if you are healthy. So, if you are considering getting dental implants, you can take comfort in knowing they have an established track record of success.
3. Control Over Jawbone & Facial Structure
Losing teeth can severely alter your face shape. It can cause your remaining teeth to move and play musical chairs in your mouth. Furthermore, when there is a breach, the jawbone beneath might deteriorate. You might lose up to 50% of your jawbone in a year!
But don't fear! Here comes the role of dental implants. They can not only maintain your jawbone, but they can also safeguard your other teeth from becoming rogue. So, keep those pearly whites in control and your face looking fabulous with implants!
4. Better Capacity to Chew
When you chew your food properly, your body can digest it more effectively, resulting in higher vitamin absorption. And tooth implants are non-negotiable if you want to chew your food normally. That is why they are so revolutionary. You can chew food with them exactly like you would with natural teeth.
That means you can eat all your favorite meals without fear of pain. So, once you have implants, you can eat your food confidently since they are the closest thing to real teeth you can get.
5. A Long-term & Dependable Solution
Dental implants have a reputation for being extremely durable and trustworthy, so it's no surprise that they are an excellent choice for people like you with missing teeth. However, you must find a dentist well-versed in tooth implant procedures to achieve the best results. They must also provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your new teeth.
And, if you practice excellent dental hygiene habits like brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly, your implants can last a lifetime.
Aging and Pre-Existing Health
Aging and pre-existing health issues can significantly impact the success and suitability of dental implants. Here's how:
- Bone Density Decline: As people age, bone density can decrease, including in the jawbone. Dental implants require a certain level of bone density to anchor securely. Reduced bone density, a common issue in older adults, can make it more challenging to successfully place implants.
- Gum Health: Aging can also affect gum health, potentially leading to conditions like periodontitis. Healthy gums are crucial for the success of dental implants, as they help support the implant structure.
- Healing Capacity: Older adults may experience slower healing processes due to age and other health factors. This can affect the integration of the implant with the jawbone and the overall healing time post-surgery.
- Pre-existing Conditions: Certain health conditions more common in older adults, like diabetes, osteoporosis, or cardiovascular disease, can impact the success rate of dental implants. For instance, diabetes can impede healing and increase the risk of infection, while osteoporosis can affect bone strength and density.
- Medications: Many older adults take medications that could affect dental implant surgery and recovery. For example, medications like bisphosphonates (used in osteoporosis treatment) can affect bone metabolism, while blood thinners can increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery.
- Oral Hygiene Maintenance: The ability to maintain good oral hygiene is critical for the longevity of dental implants. Aging individuals, especially those with mobility or cognitive issues, might find it challenging to keep up with the necessary oral care, impacting the health of the implants.
- Lifestyle Factors: Lifestyle choices that are more prevalent or persistent in older adults, such as smoking or poor nutrition, can also negatively impact the success of dental implants.
Consult With a Dental Professional
It's important for individuals considering dental implants to have a thorough evaluation by a dental professional. This evaluation should consider their overall health, medication use, lifestyle, and specific oral health status to determine the appropriateness and potential success of dental implants. Adjustments can often be made, or additional treatments might be recommended to prepare for successful implant surgery.
About the Author
Shen Chao is part of Dr Joshua Hong's Smile Clinic. He has been writing to inform people about dental topics to help readers improve their oral health.
Contributor since November 30th, 2023
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