If you're like many people who have lost a tooth, when your dentist first asked you if you wanted to replace it with an implant, you might not have known what to say. On one hand, you probably weighed the fact that an implant would mean you no longer have a flawed smile. On the other hand, having an implant inserted is a surgical procedure and a costly one at that, which may make the idea a little scary. With only a few exceptions, you are usually best off setting your worries aside and getting the implant. Here's why.
A dental implant will protect your jawbone and other teeth.
A dental implant is not just an aesthetic improvement. It is also very functional. Your natural tooth roots stimulate your jawbone whenever you chew. This pressure from the tooth roots keeps the jawbone "active," which means your bone-making cells keep laying down new, healthy bone tissue to keep that jawbone strong. If you lose a tooth, that part of your jawbone will no longer be stimulated by tooth roots, which means it will deteriorate and weaken. This weakness will put your other teeth at risk. If the bone next to a certain tooth is weak, then that tooth may eventually become loose and fall out.
A dental implant will stimulate the jawbone in a manner similar to a natural tooth root. By doing so, it will keep your jawbone and other teeth healthy and strong.
A dental implant is a permanent solution.
Sure, there are other tooth replacement options, the best known of which is the bridge. But these options are not permanent. You'll pay less for them, but you'll need them replaced in a few years. With a dental implant, on the other hand, you get a lifetime of use. The crown of the tooth, which is the visible portion, may eventually need to be replaced. However, this is a simple and pain-free process that a dentist can perform during a short visit. The main part of the implant — the screw that inserts into the jawbone — should last for the rest of your life. This makes an implant seem far more affordable.
If you've lost a tooth, it is almost always wise to say "yes" to the dental implant. Consider the benefits above, and reach out to your dentist to learn more about getting a dental implant to replace a tooth.