Most people consider getting dental implants solely for cosmetic reasons. They’re self-conscious about their missing, chipped, cracked or badly damaged teeth, and want a treatment that is 95% successful at fully restoring people’s best smiles.

If you believe dental implants will improve your self-esteem, then you aren’t mistaken. According to a study conducted for the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 37% of Americans believe stained or crooked teeth make someone less attractive. (It’s reasonable to assume they share a similar opinion about teeth that are missing entirely.) And according to the American Association of Orthodontists, almost exactly as many Americans believe their social lives would improve considerably if they only had better teeth!

But does that mean you should only consider getting dental implants if you want to enhance your facial aesthetics? Not at all! And that’s because:


The Benefits of Dental Implants Aren’t Purely Cosmetic

Even if you eliminated all the visible advantages to receiving dental implants, you would still have many health benefits to gain by undergoing the procedure. Here are the long-term health benefits of dental implants!


Restore ability to chew

If you’re missing teeth, then your ability to chew is significantly impacted. Your body doesn’t receive as many nutrients from insufficiently chewed food, partially because fewer digestive enzymes are produced as a result of inadequate chewing. Traditional dentures can help you chew more normally, although they often loosen when they encounter hard and sticky foods. But because they are securely fused to the jawbone, dental implants can potentially restore the entirety of your bite force in addition to improving your bite alignment!


Promote jaw bone health

When you lose a tooth, the jaw bone that formerly surrounded the location of that tooth’s root undergoes multiple undesirable changes. When chewing no longer stimulates it, the rate of cellular regeneration within the jaw bone slows down and potentially ceases altogether. Resultant degeneration of the jaw bone can cause difficulty and discomfort while chewing. A shrinking jaw bone also produces noticeable changes in facial structure that appear as premature aging. Fortunately, once the jaw bone has successfully osseointegrated with an implant post, it can stop shrinking altogether. In many cases dental implants actually stimulate new bone growth!


Stabilize remaining teeth

Because they stimulate jaw bone regeneration, dental implants don’t just fortify bone where teeth were once rooted. They also fortify parts of the surrounding jaw bone, which helps adjacent natural teeth remain more stable and become less likely to shift around and fall out.


Promote gum health

Dental implants aren’t an option for some people who have gum disease. But if you have a mild to moderate case of gum disease, your dentist can help you improve the health of your gums until they are fit for the dental implant procedure. In that sense, dental implants won’t directly improve gum health – but they can motivate you to take better care of your gums, which in turn may reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia. Furthermore, dental implants’ ability to eliminate tooth gaps also removes areas where food and bacteria can get trapped within the gums.


Avoid complications of wearing dentures

Although dentures are the best option for many patients, they don’t come without their share of complications. While denture glue is normally safe, it does contain zinc – a mineral that can be toxic in high enough concentrations. Dentures can cause irritating sores to form on the roof of the mouth. In rare cases dentures cause asphyxiation when they are accidentally swallowed. Dental implants, which do not require adhesive, do not touch the roof of the mouth, and are securely implanted within the jaw bone, do not pose any of these risks.


Improve quality of life

The cosmetic benefits of dental implants can improve your self-esteem, which in turn can help you handle adversity more capably, develop healthier coping skills, and put negative feelings into better perspective. The benefits of higher self-esteem aren’t limited to your oral health, of course. They are far-reaching, and include lower susceptibility to mental health conditions. Higher self-esteem also helps reduce stress, and therefore can improve or reduce the risk of physical health conditions such as heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, chronic pain, and even cancer.

If you live in the greater St. Cloud, MN area and would like to learn more about all the cosmetic and health benefits that go hand in hand with dental implants, then we welcome you to contact Centrasota Dental today. Dr. Congdon and our team are always available to discuss our wide range of routine and cosmetic dentistry services!