Dental implants have evolved quite a bit in the past 10-15 years. Now the landscape for dental treatments is evolving due to the success we have had with implant therapy. Read more for some of the advantages implants offer.
In the past, where bridges used to be good options for replacing teeth, implants are now being planned, and for good reason, too. Several advantages of implants over bridges are:
Does this mean that you should consider having your bridges removed and replaced with implants? Not necessarily. There are many serviceable bridges out there right now, and occasionally, a new bridge is still a good option. This all depends on your specific scenario.
Read more about replacing missing teeth
I no longer recommend a full denture on the lower jaw as a treatment without some way to stabilize it. For those with upper and lower dentures, you likely understand that a lower denture does not work as well as an upper denture. Using implants, we can stabilize a lower denture so that it works as well or better than an upper denture. This gives the following advantages:
We can also stabilize upper dentures with implants if necessary, however, often people are happy with their upper dentures and cannot justify the cost. But there are still reasons to consider implants to stabilize an upper denture:
Read more about loose dentures
The teeth are naturally held by a piece of bone called the alveolar ridge. The teeth stimulate this bone to grow and everyday chewing forces stimulate the bone as well, similar to the way exercise prevents muscles from deteriorating. If teeth are lost, then the bone tends to shrink, just like muscles that are not being used.
How does this relate to implants? Well, implants are placed into the alveolar ridge, and this provides the necessary stimulation to help maintain that bone.
Great, you might be saying, but why is the alveolar ridge so important? The answer is simple. Teeth, implants, even dentures, partial dentures, and bridges all rely on the alveolar ridge to be present for support. So, without the alveolar ridge, the only option we have to chew our food is our gums! This works O.K. for babies, who rely primarily on milk and baby food, but for adults, this poses a problem.
Read more about bone loss related to dentures