A Root Canal

3 Hidden Benefits of Getting Dental Implants

Most people are familiar with the obvious benefit of getting dental implants, which is they can significantly improve your smile by filling in gaps left behind by missing teeth. However, dental implants provide additional benefits that may not be a readily evident at first. Here are three additional ways implants can improve your mental and physical health.

Stimulation of Jaw Bone

One major side effect of tooth loss is the deterioration of the jaw bone that eventually occurs. Teeth are embedded in the jaw at the root and stimulate bone tissue when you chew your food or bite down on things. The body is all about efficiency and will get rid of things it feels aren't needed. So the lack of stimulation in an area where teeth are missing causes the body to break down and reabsorb the bone tissue. According to some experts, a person will lose about 25 percent of the jaw bone width in the first year after losing a tooth and about 4 millimeters of height in the subsequent years.

This can result in a number of issues such as misalignment of remaining teeth as they move around, changes in appearance (e.g. sunken face or lack of lip support), jaw pain, and problems with your sinuses.

Getting dental implants as soon as possible after having teeth pulled or having them fall out from disease will protect your jaw bone. Implants are attached to the bone like regular teeth and provide the stimulation necessary to keep the tissue healthy.

Prevents Premature Aging

As noted previously, missing teeth can have an adverse impact on your appearance. Teeth help provide structure and support to oral tissues and your face as a whole. When teeth go missing, so does the support they provide. Coupled with the loss of jaw bone, this can result in undesirable facial changes.

For instance, the loss of molars can cause the face to appear sunken and hollow. Loss of front teeth eliminates support for the lips, causing them to collapse inward. Not only does this make the lips look thinner than they really are, it makes the skin sag and leads to the formation of wrinkles and lines. This can make a person appear older than they actually are.

Dental implants can restore the missing structural support, halt the accelerated deterioration of your facial features and, in some cases, lessen the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Additionally, replacing missing teeth can improve your ability to eat foods (e.g. fruits and vegetables) necessary for good health and skin.

Improves Mental Health

A third benefit of dental implants is they can improve your mental health. It doesn't get talked about often, but there is an emotional component associated with missing teeth. Smiling performs a critical social function, letting people express a myriad of emotions. Being unable to smile freely because of embarrassment over missing teeth can be immensely stressful. Unfortunately, there is also still a social stigma attached to missing teeth that can cause people to be subjected to ridicule and bullying.

As you can imagine, this may lead to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Getting dental implants can alleviate some of the negative aspects associated with having gaps in your smile. Restoring lost teeth can increase your self-confidence, alleviate feelings of humiliation or inadequacy, and improve your overall quality of life.

Dental implants aren't a cure-all, but they can certainly help protect your physical and mental well-being. For more information about these issues or to schedule a consultation to discuss whether dental implants are right for you, contact services like Samuel D Knight, DDS.