Historians have found evidence of dentures dating back to 2500 B.C. Then, dentures were made out of animal teeth. Fast forward to the 16th century, and we see Japanese physicians who once fashioned false teeth out of wood. Even our first president had a set of dentures made of ivory, gold, and lead.
As long as people have lost teeth, we’ve replaced them with dentures. However, during the mid-1900s, the world of dentistry experienced a shake-up. In 1952, orthopedic surgeon and research professor Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark placed the first successful dental implant and, by doing so, sparked a new trend in cosmetic and restorative dentistry.
But are dental implants really worth the hype? We think they are.
Here, Dr. Ryan Fait and our team at Southern California General & Cosmetic Dentistry, located in Long Beach and Avalon, California, highlight some of the reasons why we think dental implants have earned their rightful spot as the new gold standard in smile restoration.
Dentures have come a long way since ancient times, but they haven’t been able to shake some of their drawbacks. Though they look and feel like natural teeth and are great for replacing an entire arch of teeth, there are some things you should be aware of.
First, dentures rest on top of your gums. That may not seem like a big deal, but because dentures don’t replace your missing tooth root, your jawbone weakens over time. That can lead to significant pain and may even cause the shape of your face to change as the bone loss worsens. A missing tooth also gives your surrounding teeth the chance to shift, which can impact your bite.
Second, dentures require an extensive amount of care to keep them from cracking, drying out, or warping. Dentures also come with a steep learning curve. Many new dentures-wearers have to relearn how to chew and talk.
Fortunately, dental implants fill many of the gaps dentures leave behind. A dental implant is a metal root or post surgically attached to your jawbone beneath your gum line. The post provides a permanent foundation for an artificial tooth that looks, feels, and functions like your natural teeth.
Dental implants allow you to talk and chew with ease. Bonus: dental implants are immune to cavities. With some optimal oral health care, dental implants can last upwards of 25 years.
In short, a dental implant offers the support to keep your entire mouth functioning properly.
We’d like to note that dental implants, effective as they are, aren’t for everyone. The process for dental implants involves a series of surgeries and visits to our office, which requires both a financial and time commitment.
We also don’t recommend dental implants if you have preexisting gum problems or inadequate jawbone density. Furthermore, children and adolescents can’t get dental implants because their jaws haven’t stopped growing.
Talk to us about your options for smile restoration. If dental implants aren’t right for you, we offer other solutions, such as bridges, crowns, and veneers.
Ready to see if dental implants are right for you? Call or click to schedule an appointment online at either our Avalon or Long Beach, California, offices today.