I went in for a consult on dental implants and I feel like I was given a total line of you-know-what. They were really pushing me to go with them over dentures and I’ve been on the fence because I’m not sure they’re worth it. The big thing they said was that I would look younger with them and that my face shape would change. At first, I was offended. I’m only in my 50s. I’m not that old and, frankly, how I look is none of their business. I went there for my teeth. Then, it started feeling more like that was their line. Like they’re geared toward people with big money who can worry about cosmetic things. I’m not one of those people either. I’m pragmatic and practical. Now that I’m mulling it over more, I still don’t get it. Was that some kind of line they use to seal the deal or how does it work?
These are great questions. Let’s dig a bit deeper.
In short, your jawbone “knows” when it’s needed. When there are teeth roots in it and it’s being used, it tends to hold its shape. When there’s no teeth in it, it sort of melts away in a process known as resorption. It doesn’t disappear overnight and it doesn’t go away altogether, but the shape starts to flatten out over time. That makes your mouth pucker inward, so you wind up looking “old.” The concept is known as “facial collapse.” Because dentures don’t have “roots,” they can’t help prevent it, but dental implants do.
A full set of pearly whites is a mark of health, and that’s something people associate with youth. Other missing teeth replacements can help with this as well, so they’re not necessarily unique in that respect.
Dental implants aren’t just a cosmetic solution though. In addition to preventing facial collapse, they’re a lasting missing tooth replacement. The look and feel more like natural teeth, which improves everything from your ability to eat nourishing foods through comfort and ability to talk. They also tend to improve confidence more, simply because people look and feel better when they have a beautiful and functional smile.
A lot of people think that when they go for dental implants to replace all teeth in one arch (or both!) that they need to replace every single tooth that’s missing. That’s simply not true at all. While that’s one option, implant-supported dentures can often be placed with four or six implants. It provides greater stability and comfort over a traditional denture, but is more cost-effective than placing lots of implants.
To be fair, this is all stuff your dentist should have told you when you went in. If he didn’t, he dropped the ball. It’s no wonder you’re questioning whether the things he told you are accurate or not. Get a second opinion from someone who will go over all your options with you and with whom you feel comfortable. It’ll go a long way toward ensuring this is a positive experience for you.
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Steve Sirin, an Elgin dental implant provider.