3 Common Reasons People Need Dental Implants
Three million people in the U.S. have dental implants and that number is rising annually by nearly 20%. There are many reasons why dental implants are on the rise, but first, let’s take a look at three of the most common reasons for someone to need dental implants.
1. Tooth Decay
When the hard, outer layer (i.e. enamel) of a tooth begins to deteriorate due to acids and bacteria in the mouth, that is the start of tooth decay. Tooth decay can lead to abscess formation and serious infection. If the tooth decay is severe, tooth extraction might be the best option to keep any infection from spreading.
How can you prevent tooth decay? There is a way to prevent most cases of tooth decay, and it’s called preventative dental care. By practicing good oral hygiene and having routine visits with your family dentist, you significantly decrease your risk of developing tooth decay.
According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 85% of people will need wisdom tooth extractions during their lifetime. Many wisdom teeth just don’t have adequate room to grow, which leads to overcrowding and a multitude of dental problems.
How can you prevent overcrowding? Unfortunately, you have less control of overcrowding than you do tooth decay or gum disease. Overcrowding is influenced by genetics and not oral hygiene. If your dentist recommends wisdom tooth extractions, it’s likely because they know the consequences if the wisdom teeth are not removed. An impacted tooth not only can cause excruciating pain, but it can be highly susceptible to infection.
3. Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease is caused by a combination of factors, including genetic predisposition and poor oral hygiene. If periodontal disease isn’t caught early, the bacteria can spread, increasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
How can you prevent gum disease? Just like with preventing tooth decay, be proactive about your oral health. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, maintain a healthy diet, and schedule routine visits with your family dentist.
Depending on the tooth and the number of teeth involved during tooth extractions, many dentists will recommend a dental implant. A dental implant is an artificial root that anchors the replacement tooth.
Dental implants not only help aesthetically by filling the gap in your smile, but they also help structurally. The implant will keep teeth in proper alignment, helping with chewing and speech. It will also help prevent bone loss in the jaw.
Other options after having tooth extractions include dentures or bridges. These procedures are still used but are less popular today than they were in the past. Dentures require adhesives and can cause slippage. Bridge-work requires adjacent teeth to be filed down. Permanent dental implants after tooth extractions are secure, require no adhesives, and cause no damage to adjacent teeth.
Dentists attempt to preserve an adult’s permanent teeth as long as possible, but the overall health of the patient is always the top priority, and sometimes a tooth extraction is necessary.