Understanding 3 Psychological Benefits of Dental Implants

Smile restoration with dental implants.

Restoring Your Smile With Dental Implants

Did you know that about 1 in 6 adults over age 65 have lost all of their natural teeth? And of those 32 teeth that we’re supposed to have, adults over age 20 only have an average of 25.5 remaining teeth. Let’s do the math. That means most adults have lost at least six teeth, and only four of these are likely to be wisdom teeth.

What are the options to restore and protect your beautiful smile? One of the best solutions to replace missing teeth, boost your self-confidence, and help you love your smile again is dental implants. Let’s explore what dental implants are and the benefits that you can expect when you get them.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants have revolutionized the world of restorative dentistry. They are robust and long-lasting solutions for patients missing one or more teeth. These sophisticated medical devices are designed to be surgically embedded within the jawbone, acting as a sturdy foundation for replacement teeth, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. Unlike traditional dentures, dental implants are permanent and closely mimic your natural teeth in appearance and functionality.

The primary part of a dental implant is the post, which your dentist carefully places into the jawbone to serve as a new root for the missing tooth. This process not only provides a stable base for the final restorations but also helps preserve jawbone integrity, preventing the bone loss that often follows tooth loss. The abutment is then secured to this implant post with an abutment fixation screw and sits above the gumline to serve as the attachment point for the prosthetic tooth. This two-part system ensures a seamless integration that feels and functions like the natural tooth.

Introducing dental implants into your oral health care plan can significantly enhance your overall quality of life. Not only do they restore your ability to chew and speak with confidence, but they also eliminate the discomfort and self-consciousness associated with missing teeth.

What are 3 psychological benefits of dental implants?

When you are missing teeth, it can really erode your self-confidence. You may feel embarrassed that you can’t eat like you used to—after all, it’s challenging to chew your food when you don’t have all your teeth. 

Not only that, but your speech may suffer. Sure, you won’t notice a missing molar or premolar much when you are speaking. But if you have any front teeth missing, that’s an entirely different story. Your front teeth are necessary to create those strident sounds that require your tongue or lips to press against those front teeth. 

Here are a few examples of strident sounds:

  • /s/: as in the English word “sigh,” where the tongue is close to the roof of the mouth, forcing air past the front teeth to create a hissing sound
  • /z/: as in “zebra,” similar to /s/ but voiced, meaning the vocal cords vibrate
  • /ʃ/ (sh): as in “shy,” where the air is forced out in a wider lip position compared to /s/

But aside from struggles to eat and to speak clearly, you may feel a bit of embarrassment when you smile. Maybe you are hesitant to show the gap(s) left behind by missing teeth, making you uncomfortable in social situations. That’s why it’s important to talk to your dentist at Parmer Lane Family Dentistry about tooth-replacement options to help you regain your ability to eat well, speak clearly, and smile broadly.

Consider these 3 benefits:

1. Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem

Dental implants replace missing teeth to restore your smile’s natural look and function, significantly boosting self-esteem. Newfound pride in your smile encourages a more positive self-image and willingness to engage in various activities without feeling self-conscious about their appearance. 

By eliminating the embarrassment of missing teeth, dental implants facilitate more-confident interactions. This, in turn, can help improve personal and professional relationships through enhanced communication and approachability. 

2. Increased Comfort and Freedom

Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are securely anchored into the jawbone. Their permanent position allows for unparalleled comfort and stability, eliminating any worries of the final restorations slipping out of place or causing clicking sounds (as with dentures). You’ll have the freedom to eat, speak, and laugh without hesitation or discomfort, which will enrich your daily life.

3. Long-Term Psychological Well-Being

The permanence and durability of dental implants contribute to a sustained improvement in mental health. Knowing your smile is restored for the long haul reduces anxiety and depression related to dental issues, leading to a more optimistic outlook and overall psychological well-being.

Are you a candidate for dental implants?

This all may seem too good to be true, but it’s not, we promise! So the next question is: Are you a candidate for dental implants? The main factors we look at to determine whether dental implants are right for you are the health of your gums and jawbone.

Ideal candidates possess healthy gums free of periodontal disease, which is a must for supporting the implant. Additionally, patients must have reached a point in their growth where the jawbone has fully developed, ensuring the implant has a stable foundation.

Having sufficient bone density to secure the implant is another necessity. The jawbone must be thick and strong enough to hold the implant in place effectively. However, a lack of bone density doesn’t automatically disqualify you. Advances in dental technology and techniques, such as bone grafting, allow dental implants to remain a viable option for individuals who have experienced jawbone loss.

On the flip side, if your dentist determines that the jawbone is too thin or cannot sustain an implant, you may be unsuitable for dental implants. Inadequate bone structure poses a significant risk of implant failure, as the foundation would not be solid enough to support the implant long term.

Request an evaluation at Parmer Lane Family Dentistry. 

If you’re ready to regain your smile and experience all the psychological benefits we shared earlier, request an evaluation with Parmer Lane Family Dentistry. We’d be happy to chat with you about your smile goals and discuss the best options to help you restore your confidence.

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