Dental implants provide some pretty great benefits to your smile. They fill in spaces left by missing teeth, and they’re a more attractive, comfortable alternative to bridges and dentures.
But you may not realize that dental implants can actually contribute to your overall health as well as your smile. We at Chester Family Dentistry in Warren, Ohio, want to share some of those benefits with you. Here are some of the other advantages you can expect from dental implants.
Prevent the loss of other teeth
A dental implant is a procedure in which we surgically implant a titanium screw into your jawbone beneath your gumline. The screw bonds naturally with your jawbone and attaches to a custom-made artificial tooth, which is known as a crown. A dental implant permanently replaces a missing tooth.
When one of your teeth is removed and not replaced, your jawbone can begin to deteriorate. This can lead to the loss of other teeth. Wearing dentures and bridges can also place stress on your other teeth; sometimes, your natural teeth must be ground down to allow for placement of bridges, which may contribute tooth loss.
None of this is necessary when you have dental implants. In fact, dental implants actually stimulate the growth of new bone, which benefits your jawbone and your remaining teeth.
Protect you from gum disease and the health risks linked to it
Dentures and bridges can interfere with good oral health, because they can make it harder for you to remove food and bacteria through brushing and flossing. Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis, which can cause gum swelling, bleeding, infection, tooth loss, and inflammation.
Severe periodontitis can cause bacteria and inflammation to spread throughout your body. This may increase your risk of various kinds of health problems, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, pregnancy complications, infertility, Alzheimer’s disease, and lung infections.
Brushing and flossing can be much easier with dental implants than with dentures and bridges. Because implanted teeth feel like natural teeth, you can brush and floss thoroughly, reducing your chances of developing gum disease and the health risks associated with it.
Help you eat a healthier diet
If you or someone you know has dentures or bridges, you’re probably aware of the long list of foods to avoid, including nuts, nut butters, seeds, whole grains such as popcorn, certain raw vegetables such as carrots and corn on the cob, and some fruits, including raspberries, apples, and pears.
This list includes some very healthy foods. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients that are linked with heart health, for example. And fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are rich sources of fiber, which has been linked to a lower risk of a variety of health conditions, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer.
When you have dental implants, you don’t have to hold back on foods that are great for your health. And you can go ahead and indulge in an occasional treat, too. Peanut brittle, anyone?
Improve your quality of life
Having missing teeth, ill-fitting dentures, or bridgework that causes pain or self-consciousness can interfere with your self-confidence and your sense of self-worth. Over time, feelings like this can have a significant impact on your quality of life and, indirectly, your health.
When you feel great about yourself, anything seems possible. You’re more likely to engage in health-boosting behaviors such as eating healthy food, exercising, socializing with friends, not smoking, remembering to take medication for chronic conditions, and engaging in meaningful, fulfilling activities.
If you have missing teeth, dentures, or bridges, opting for dental implants can improve your oral health and your overall well-being. At Chester Family Dentistry, we can help you decide whether dental implants are the right choice for you. Call our office for an appointment with Dr. Chester or Dr. Caicco today.