Only about 48% of women and men in the US still have all their teeth at the age of 64 years. If you’re unfortunate enough to have lost a tooth or teeth to decay, injury, or disease, replacing them with dental implants not only restores your appearance but also helps you maintain proper digestion and other oral functions.
Dr. Joshua Whitford and Dr. Jessica Whitford at Silver Lake Dentistry in Raymore, Missouri, recommend dental implants to any patient who has healthy gums and bone. Dental implants are custom-designed and individually inserted into your jawbone, where they fuse to your jaw for added security and stability.
Here are just a few of the benefits of dental implants and how they help you maintain a youthful facial shape, look, and oral function:
Dental implants keep you producing new jawbone cells
With all of the rejuvenating techniques out there that rely on healthy stress to stimulate healing and renewal, it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the same is true for your bones. When you stress your bones, they respond by creating healthy new bone cells. That’s why your doctor tells you to walk for at least 30 minutes a day to avoid developing osteopenia or osteoporosis in your legs.
The same concept holds true for your jawbone. If you don’t replace your teeth with dental implants, your jawbone no longer gets stressed when you chew. When your bones aren’t stressed, they stop producing new bone cells and eventually atrophy. That’s why people with missing teeth or those who only wear dentures eventually have a short, older-looking lower face: Their jaws don’t produce new bone cells and eventually become smaller.
Dental implants look like real teeth, not false teeth
Nothing ages your mouth like false-looking dentures or poorly made dental bridges. False teeth are an immediate sign that you’ve lost teeth — not something that usually happens when you’re young and healthy.
Dental implants are false teeth, too, but they look exactly like your real teeth. They’re individually shaped and individually inserted into your jawbone. They even have natural, though slight, spaces between them, like natural teeth.
Dental implants are made of porcelain or composite materials that have the same kind of translucence and reflective properties of natural teeth. Your dentist also shapes and colors them to match your current teeth, so they blend in beautifully.
Dental implants let you sound like yourself
Dentures and bridges add bulk to your mouth that require your tongue and soft tissues to make adjustments. Dentures can also slip and interfere with your speech.
Your dental implants only occupy the space that was once occupied by your natural tooth. If it’s been a while since you lost a tooth, you may have a slight adjustment period, but soon you’ll talk and sound perfectly natural.
Dental implants allow you to eat what you like
If you’ve ever worn dentures or had a dental bridge, you may have avoided hard foods like carrots and apples, or chewy foods such as steaks and fresh-baked bread. Because your dental implants reach deep down into your jawbone and are securely fused to the bone, you can eat all the kinds of foods that you did when you had all of your natural teeth. Dental implants don’t slip out of place, and there are no wires to break.
If you’re ready to replace your teeth while maintaining your youthful facial shape and jawbone, call us today about dental implants. You can reach us by phone at 816-368-5968.