Losing a tooth or teeth for any reason can put a major dent in your confidence – especially when it is one of your front teeth. 

It is also bad for your overall dental health, as your other teeth can shift out of alignment and you become more at risk of bacterial infections that can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.

Fortunately, modern dentistry means it is simple and affordable to replace lost teeth with dental implants that look and function the same as the original.

Some of the benefits you will enjoy from dental implants (aside from the obvious aesthetic advantages) include:

You can look younger for longer: When teeth are lost, it impacts your entire mouth and even your face. Teeth and bone will move or sink because of the space left by the tooth which can change your appearance and make you look older before your time. Implants will prevent this movement and help you retain your natural looks.

They protect the bone: When there is a space in your mouth where the tooth once was, the bone can become exposed and prone to damage and deterioration. This can result in serious oral health problems and expensive major surgery.

There are many materials used for dental implants and your dentist will help you choose the right option for your oral health and budget. The leading materials used for these implants include:

Porcelain

Porcelain dental implants are very common today and follow a similar design and feel to crowns and bridges made from the same material. This material is going to closely match your teeth and can be colored to further integrate the implant into a seamless smile.

There is more flexibility for customization with porcelain which makes it an attractive choice for creating implants that are the same shape as the tooth they are replacing, no matter how unique the shape. 

Put simply, porcelain dental implants look better than other materials and will last longer than most of them as well, making this the ideal material to use for implants in the modern-day.

Acrylic 

When implants were first invented (in terms of modern medicine) acrylic was the material used – and it remains in use today. The acrylic implants are connected by titanium bars and are the most affordable option on the market.

There are some benefits to going with this traditional implant material aside from the low cost. They have a softer bite than other harder materials which makes them more comfortable for some and they are also easy to repair.

The obvious downside is that these implants don’t look as authentic as porcelain or other materials and won’t last as long. They are not suitable for people who clench or grind their teeth because these implants will quickly wear down.

Zirconia

This is one of the most recent materials to be used for dental implants and its greatest strength is its durability. If you have issues with grinding or clenching your teeth, this is the material for you because it is the most durable ceramic option on the market.

These implants can be made to look highly authentic, but a lot of that will come down to the skill of the individual dentist so it is best to stick to a highly reputable dentist with a history of creating realistic zirconia dental implants. 

This material is also expensive and very hard to repair, plus some people complain that they feel unnatural and create a distinct sound when you bite down. Zirconia is more of a specialized option for people with clenching and grinding issues but is also favored by people who want their implants to last for a very long time.

Titanium

Ever since the 1950s, Titanium has been a preferred material in medical procedures because it is inert. This means it is not likely to cause a negative reaction in the body, so it is widely used for bone reparation and for dental procedures.

It will fuse and bind with the bone in your jaw naturally and provide excellent durability and longevity. The titanium will need a crown placed around it to make it look natural and this crown will need repairing and replacing over time.

But the titanium implant itself can last a lifetime, is extremely strong, and won’t cause any other medical issues like infection or rejection by the body.

Ceramic

There are some cases where patients are allergic to titanium. In this case, newer solutions like zirconia and ceramic are the next best thing. Ceramic is only used in rare instances as titanium is favored, but it can be used for reliable and realistic-looking dental implants.

One of the main benefits of ceramic is its natural appearance, emulating the look and feel of genuine teeth. But it is obviously a less durable material than titanium and zirconia, so it is only used in specialized cases.