Did you know that dental tooth implants are not subject to tooth decay? A dental implant is a very good alternative to someone who has lost teeth due to decay.

Not so much when it comes to gum disease.

Dental implants are subject to gum disease and therefore are not a good alternative for tooth replacement when gum disease is present. Even if there is no gum disease present and all of the teeth are missing, dental implants still need to be cleaned at home and professionally to keep them healthy.

The good news is that just because someone’s teeth are lost to gum disease, does not mean that that they will lose dental implants in the same manner. This is why they are a great alternative for tooth replacement.

Often times, patients will present themselves with four to six remaining teeth in an arch and are wearing a partial denture. This is almost never a long-term solution, because the partial denture clasps onto and is supported by the remaining teeth and the bony tissue.

This constant force localized to a few teeth, difficulty in keeping it clean, and the continued loss of bony support slowly over time leads to some difficulties. Most often the biggest complaint is that the partial denture doesn’t fit or is uncomfortable.

Food begins to collect around and under it over time. The remaining teeth become more subject to loosening, tooth decay, pain and gum disease. Most of the time, the denture is not worn by the patient because of these issues.

A better alternative would be some kind of implant-supported prosthesis, whether it be removable or not. Without the vulnerable natural teeth in the way, four to six implants can support teeth replacements for the long-term without the unwanted side effects.

By design, the bite force is distributed more evenly, not placing stress in any one localized area. Tooth decay is eliminated. Gum disease is much more easily able to be prevented.

The cosmetics are greatly improved. Comfort, increased chewing ability and long-term sustainability are all benefits.

Long-term maintenance is greatly simplified. If removable, the prosthesis can be removed for daily and occasional professional maintenance. The fixed prosthesis is easily cleaned daily and can be removed for occasional professional maintenance.

If any repair or modification becomes necessary, this ease of removal without disturbing the implant support is one of the best features.

Just know that there is no need to suffer with something that is not working. Professional advice and help is readily available. Imagine how greatly improved life would be to enjoy the simple act of eating without the constant worry, lack of confidence, and discomfort.

James G. Jenkins, D.M.D. is the owner of Bluffton Dental Care in Bluffton.