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In the past, severe injuries, tooth decay and other oral health problems often resulted in tooth extraction to save the remaining healthy teeth and contain the damage. While dentures have become a regular fixture in restorative dentistry, they are nowhere near as good as the real thing.
The good news is that now you don’t have to be left wondering what it would be like to live with a full set of healthy teeth again, as dental implants are redefining restorative dentistry,and providing a leading option for improving oral health and quality of life. With dental implants, you can talk and eat just as you would with natural teeth — and smile even brighter than before.
Did your dentist recently recommend a tooth extraction to save and fix your smile? Here’s everything you need to know about same-day dental implants.
1. Dental implants look, feel and work like natural teeth
Dental implants are made of titanium “roots” permanently fused to your jawbone, much like natural teeth, but strong metal rather than bone. They’re capable of biting and chewing but won’t fall out, unlike dentures, so you get the same comfort and function as with natural teeth. Plus, you’ll smile brighter than ever because the crowns of implants can be matched to the staining and natural appearance of your teeth.
2. They have a high payoff
Same-day dental implants may seem expensive upfront but they’re actually more cost-effective than other restorative dental treatments. Because they’re just like real teeth, they can last a lifetime with good oral health habits. Meanwhile, even though dentures appear cheaper upfront, they need to be replaced every few years to compensate for jawbone deficiency.
3. Your appearance stays the same
Missing teeth don’t just dampen a bright, beautiful smile but, over time, they also cause your face to sink. While dentures can provide a temporary fix, dental implants offer a much better solution.
Dental implants retain your facial features. These stabilize your jawbone and prevent it from demineralizing and deteriorating. This is made possible by osseointegration or bonding the implants to your jaws, rather than just sitting on top of your gums as dentures do.
4. All you need to do is brush
Unlike dentures and partials that require a sticky adhesive, dental implants don’t need any additional care. They’re permanent, just like your natural teeth. Now, you can talk and eat as you please without the odd sensation of an object blocking your mouth.
You won’t even have to worry about cavities because dental implants are immune to them. While plaque erodes natural teeth, the titanium used in implants is impervious to it. But don’t use your implants as an excuse to forget about good oral hygiene: you can still develop gum disease around the implant and cavities in the surrounding teeth.
5. Protection for existing teeth
Unfortunately, severe cavities and tooth decay don’t end with tooth extraction. That’s why restorative treatments are always required. Left alone, a gap where the old, damaged tooth used to be will cause adjacent teeth to shift in order to compensate for the space. This prolongs symptoms you were already experiencing, such as jaw pain and swollen gums. At worst, the infection or damage may spread to otherwise healthy surrounding teeth, causing them to fall out as well.
Same-day dental implants can prevent these and put a stop to your dental issues for good. That’s because implants function just like natural teeth and permanently fill in the gaps left by extraction to prevent shifting and reinfection. 98% of dental implants last a lifetime — the 2% failure rate only occurs if you revert back to bad oral hygiene and poor lifestyle habits like smoking, or develop chronic diabetes.
6. Dental implants are not rocket science — but they use the same material
Did you know that dental implants and rockets are both built with titanium? That’s how strong your implants are. They’re fused to your jawbone, and secure inside your mouth to withstand daily wear-and-tear from regular oral functions.
Dental implants have certainly come a long way. Way back in history, around 600AD, the Mayans used seashells for tooth restorations and hammered these right inside the mouth. Needless to say, that wasn’t only painful but also unsanitary — and no match for today’s titanium implants.
7. Anyone can get a dental implant
Cavities, tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems can occur at any age. And because you need a full set of teeth for basic oral functions throughout your lifetime, a permanent solution is ideal.
Generally, dental implants are recommended for any age, once your dentist confirms that you are a good candidate. The only age group not eligible for implants is children because their jawbone is still developing, so any implant installed early on may fail as the bones shift and permanent teeth start growing.
8. You can get same-day dental implants
Same-day dental implants are making tooth restoration faster and more accessible, allowing you to flash your smile, and talk and eat normally much sooner. But did you know that this isn’t limited to a single implant?
Even if you’re missing an entire row of teeth, it only takes four dental implants to restore them. It was previously found that inserting four implants and attaching a fixed prosthetic on top can be just as effective as lining the entire gap with implants. Depending on your case, this can be a temporary fix as you wait for the next set or a permanent, cost-effective treatment that reduces weight on your jawbone. Ask your dentist if you are a good candidate.