Dental Implants: The Superior Option for Replacing Missing Teeth

Missing teeth are more common than you might think. Experts estimate that about 178 million adults in the United States are missing a tooth, and about 40 million have no teeth left at all. Whether lost to decay, injury, or gum disease, the problems that lie ahead are more than merely cosmetic. 

Gaps in your teeth allow neighboring teeth to shift into the vacant space and become misaligned. This leads to maloclusion, or a bad bite, that can damage your teeth with cracks and fractures.

And because your jaw relies on the repeated pressure it receives every time you bite and chew to stimulate bone growth, when there’s an empty space in your row of teeth, the bone beneath it gradually deteriorates.

You can prevent these problems by replacing your missing tooth or teeth with a dental implant. Unlike dentures and bridges, which fill the gap but don’t address the underlying issue of bone health, dental implants solve both issues.

Dr. Benjamin C. Wang at Centerport Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry in Portland, Oregon, has more than 20 years of experience with dental restorations, cosmetic dentistry, and dental implants. He uses the most advanced technology, including digital X-rays, to guide his treatment procedures. Here’s why he recommends dental implants for his patients who need to fill a gap in their smile.

Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth

From fillings to crowns, the best dental restorations are the ones you don’t notice. When you get dental implants, Dr. Wang generates a 3D digital image of your mouth and existing teeth so he can replace the missing one with a dental implant that’s the exact size, shape, and color to best fit your mouth. Once in place, no one will be able to tell which tooth is real and which is an implant.

You won’t be able to feel the difference either. Because the implant is anchored into your jawbone, it won’t shift or wiggle. You can eat all your favorite foods without worry.

Dental implants allow you to speak normally

While dentures are a popular fix for missing teeth, they do come with a few drawbacks, including the fact that they tend to slip when you talk. Most people need to relearn how to enunciate certain sounds and words to keep the appliance in place.

Dental implants, on the other hand, don’t affect your speech at all. They fit in line with your other teeth precisely — they feel completely natural and stay in place, so you can rattle off any tongue-twister you want without fear of your teeth falling out. 

Dental implants are permanent

When you need to fill a gap in your smile, you can choose a removable solution (dentures) or a fixed solution (dental implants). The removable option requires special care, such as nightly removal for cleaning and removal when eating certain foods. And they only last for about 10-15 years

If you want to fix your gap and forget about it, dental implants are a great choice. Dr. Wang attaches a titanium post to your jawbone, where it eventually fuses and becomes one with the surrounding bone, a process called osseointegration. The exposed end of the post has an abutment that holds a permanent crown.

Dental implants are best for your oral health

We mentioned the downside to leaving your gap untreated — shifting teeth and loss of jawbone. Dental implants address both of these serious issues, plus they save your gums. 

By filling the gap, dental implants reduce the surface area of your gums and therefore reduce your risk of gum disease. The more exposed gum tissue you have, the greater the chance that bacteria can coat the surface and set up camp.

There’s no reason to open your mouth to the dangers that come with missing teeth. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Wang to find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants. Book your appointment online or call us today. 

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