Be comfortable. Look like yourself. Feel like yourself. Eat what you want to eat. Sleep comfortably. These are all things that every single person should be able to do, no problem. However, if you are missing teeth, these ideas may sound like a luxury.
Family dentists have been tackling this problem a new way. Instead of immediately opting for dentures, around 10% of American dentists now perform dental implants.
Dentures are the first idea that pops into most people?s minds when they consider an alternative to living with missing teeth, because dental implant procedures are rarely openly discussed. But the truth is, as many as three million Americans have dental implants and that number is growing by half a million every year. A dental implant is the placement of a new, artificial root designed to hold a replacement tooth, and this is a supply with a huge demand. Almost 4% of people ages 20-64 have no remaining teeth at all. This breakthrough in dentistry allows people a second chance to smile.
A lot of people resist what sounds like an intensive dental procedure, perhaps recoiling at painful memories of braces and fillings. The progress of sedation dentistry makes this less of a problem, along with the incredible success that this breakthrough has had. Dental implants performed by family dentists have had a reported success rate of 98%. That number is hard to argue with.
One of the most appealing aspects of dental implants is the minimal upkeep after the procedure is completed. Just like anyone else, people with dental implants must brush and floss daily. Other than that, any maintenance is provided only when the patient visits their family dentist.
Dentures are fixed in place at home by the patient using dental adhesive, whereas dental implants are permanent fixtures. Natural looking dentures are sometimes the best alternative for someone whose gumline or jaw is weak and cannot withstand the implant surgery. On the other hand, dental implants are generally going to stay in the mouth for about 20 years, acting and feeling like natural teeth. Dental implants are most popularly used when there are some remaining teeth, rather than none, and the implants are used simply to fill in the gaps.
Data collected by the NIDCR found that seniors over age 65 have an average of 18.9 remaining teeth, which makes for a good dental implant candidate.