If you’re missing one or more teeth, a dental implant can be a worthy investment in restoring your self-esteem and overall oral health in 2023. Here’s dental implants compare to other options for tooth replacement, plus the all-around advantages they can bring this year and beyond.
Why get a dental implant?
Missing a tooth or two? You’ll likely agree that a gap isn’t ideal for both function and aesthetics. Luckily, there are different options for tooth replacement to help restore the look and function of the missing teeth.
DR SHAWN GOH and DR ERIC LYE KOK WENG are specialists in oral and maxillofacial surgery at The Oral Maxillofacial Practice. They say that, while conventional alternatives such as dentures and bridges can certainly help to do this, dental implants have become the universal standard treatment for tooth replacement these days for many reasons.
Unlike removable bridges and dentures, dental implants are permanent structures that serve as anchors for artificial teeth (crowns). Implants are surgically embedded into the jawbone to simulate the missing teeth’s roots. This forms a stable foundation on which crowns are placed to mimic the natural look and function of teeth, explains Dr Goh.
And, unlike bridges, implants do not require the trimming down of adjacent teeth to hold false teeth in place, says Dr Lye. This means healthy teeth remain untouched, which can go a long way in maintaining strong teeth for years to come!
The advantages of a dental implant
Among the advantages of getting dental implants are:
#1 Improved eating
“Dental implants can dramatically improve the patient’s biting function, as they are rigidly attached to the patient’s jaw and function very similarly to the patient’s own set of biological teeth,” says Dr Goh. “The firmness of dentition allows patients to chew meats, whole apples and sticky foods with confidence and ease.”
#2 Improved appearance and self-esteem
If you’ve got a gap in your grin, you probably know just how self-conscious it can make you feel about your appearance. In fact, you may even find yourself smiling less. Dental implants are a great solution to get you smiling with more confidence.
#3 Enhanced speech
Missing teeth can affect speech, as can dentures that slip out of place. And, worrying about how it’s affecting how you talk is just as consuming as the concerns over your physical appearance. Replacing missing teeth with implants, however, can help improve speech and even reduce lisping that occurs due to air leakage from the missing teeth, says Dr Goh. This, in turn, can get you talking with more confidence, positively impacting your career, social life and everything in between.
#4 Convenience and comfort
Some of the available options for tooth replacement require cleaning. But, because dental implants are permanent, there is no need to remove them for cleaning, says Dr Lye. This scores major points in the convenience department.
He says that dental implants also tend to feel more natural than other tooth replacement solutions, as they are firmly anchored in place.
#5 Reduced bone loss
When you lose teeth, you also lose bone mass in your jaw. The jawbone needs the stimulation of chewing to maintain its mass. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants can help prevent bone loss by mimicking the pressure of natural teeth, explains Dr Goh.
When to get a dental implant
Don’t wait until you’ve got multiple missing teeth, advises Dr Goh. “Even the loss of one tooth, insignificant as it may seem, can lead to an unbalanced occlusion and can even lead to the early failure of other teeth.”
Therefore, he says that dental implant replacement should start from the first missing tooth.
This article first appeared in the January 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!