Dental Implants – The Best Tooth Replacements in History

Nobody really wants to live with missing teeth. So, throughout history, human ingenuity has come up with various ways of replacing them — from seashells (the Mayans) to ivory dentures (the 18th dental-implants14century.) If your parents lost a tooth, they probably had only one good choice for its replacement: the three-unit fixed bridge. But today there’s an even better option available — the dental implant.

Why do we think dental implants are the best method yet found for tooth replacement? It’s all about bone tissue. Even if you can’t see a missing tooth, the bone in your jaw “knows” it’s gone. Without the stimulation that teeth provide, the alveolar bone begins to resorb — a medical term meaning “melt away.” And that can lead to worse consequences.

The bones in the jaw support facial structures like cheeks, lips and chin. As bone disappears, cheeks begin to sink in, lips lose their support, and eventually the lower third of the face shrinks, exaggerating the appearance of aging. Aside from esthetics, bone loss can also lead to problems with the gums, the bite, and other health and nutritional issues.

But dental implants, which look and function like natural teeth, can help prevent bone loss. Unlike bridgework, they become fused into the bone itself. They don’t decay, are less prone to gum disease, and much longer lasting. Learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”