Why Dental Implants Are Excellent Investment

Posted on Dec 13, 2017 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Some things aren’t as clear as comparing apples to apples. For example, if you’ve ever purchased a piece of furniture that ‘looked’ well-built but was a bargain price, it doesn’t take long to realize it really wasn’t much of a bargain after all. The drawers may start to stick, it may begin to wobble or the surface may crack or loosen from the base. Eventually, your mind begins to calculate how much better that money could have been spent.

Of course, we all want to know that our money is being spent wisely. That means getting desirable results for a fair price. When people tell me that Dental Implants are too costly, I ask them what they are comparing them to. If they’re comparing them to a denture, partial or crown-&-bridge, consider these factors before making a final decision.


I begin by helping them to understand that missing teeth were once held by a sturdy foundation – the jaw bones. Natural tooth roots held by your upper or lower jaw provided a dependable, secure foundation for biting and chewing.

I then explain how the upper and lower jaw bones were nurtured by the presence of tooth roots, being stimulated to keep the bone at a healthy mass. Without their presence, the jaw bones experience ‘resorption,’ which causes the bones to decline in height and width.

Once resorption begins, remaining natural teeth in the area of bone loss are affected. A shrinking bone that abuts areas of resorption weakens tooth root stability. This creates a domino effect with statistics showing the next tooth to be lost will likely be a tooth adjacent to this area.

As bone loss continues, I discuss how the risk for additional tooth loss increases. With each extraction, the continued process of bone loss leaves you with an ever-shrinking jaw and thinner foundation for remaining natural teeth. Bone resorption becomes obvious in people who appear to have a collapsed mouth (referred to as a ‘granny look’) where the nose gets closer to the chin. Other signs are deep wrinkling around the mouth, jowls and having the corners of the mouth turn downward even in a smile.

Healthy Jaw Bone Vs Bone Loss From Missing Teeth

Bone loss is also the reason for dentures and partials that slip and cause uncomfortable rubbing on gum tissues. When a denture is first made, it is designed to wrap the unique contours of your gum ridge (the arch that once held natural tooth roots). As the bone shrinks, the once-secure fit loosens and eventually moves while eating. Although denture pastes or adhesives can help,  even relines (reshaping the previously-made contours) offer little help as resorption continues.

When choosing Dental Implants to replace teeth, you are making a lifelong investment. Since implants are designed to last a lifetime, they provide a ‘one and done’ choice for dependable tooth replacement.

In cases where one or several teeth together are missing, crown-&-bridge combinations are often considered. However, crowns and bridges can require repairs and/or replacements over time. Crowned teeth may need root canals. Bridges can break. Too, when natural teeth are crowned for the sole purpose of supporting a bridge, the integrity of otherwise healthy, natural teeth has been forever compromised.

Because they are held in the jaw bone, Dental Implants do not rely on adjacent teeth for support. With the jaw bone for its foundation, implanted teeth have the same, dependable foundation as natural teeth once had. And, because the implanted portion recreates the presence of a tooth root, the process of resorption is halted.

As a Periodontist, I have specialized training in the diagnosis and placement of Dental Implants. As has always been my goal, I strive to provide each patient with the best outcome possible while enjoying a comfortable process from start to finish.

Begin with a private consultation to discuss your goals or concerns. Call 828-274-9440 to schedule.

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