A healthy smile should last a lifetime, but sometimes that smile needs a little help. For various reasons, many people end up with a missing tooth (or teeth).

Not only can a missing tooth cause embarrassment, it can lead to long-term health issues.

Fortunately, there are procedures, such as dental implants, that can bring back that smile, according to Dr. Brendon Swisher with Green Country Dental Arts in downtown Bartlesville.

Dental implants have a dramatic, positive affect on a patient’s life. Not only does the simple procedure brighten his or her appearance, it can drastically improve their overall quality of life.

Dental implants also function much like natural teeth, Swisher said.

“While there are other tooth replacement options, dental implants have many advantages over other treatments. They are called “implants” because an artificial tooth root is placed, or implanted, in your jawbone,” said Swisher.

“It is then covered by a natural-looking tooth replacement. Implants are the only tooth replacement option that incorporate an artificial root, allowing them to function much like natural teeth.”

Unlike other dental procedures, an implant replaces the tooth root, not just the crown. The bone bonds to the implant, provides a solid foundation for chewing that looks natural. The implant is designed to last a lifetime.

Swisher said there are major benefits to consider when deciding between dental implants and other tooth restoration options, including:Dental implants are convenient and long-lasting. Unlike dentures, you don’t need to take them out to eat or clean and there’s no need to reapply them with adhesive. Implants also provide a permanent solution to tooth loss–they are built to last a lifetime if they are well taken care of.You get the look, feel and function of your natural teeth. Dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth so you can look and feel your best. They also function like real teeth, meaning you can bite naturally and eat the foods you love without hesitation. Implants also don’t interfere with speech like some other replacement options.Oral hygiene isn’t complicated by implants. You can take care of your teeth as usual, flossing once a day and brushing twice daily. With implants, it’s easy to maintain that bright, beautiful smile!Implants prevent bone deterioration and loss. When you lose teeth the jawbone deteriorates, causing your face to appear sunken over time. Implants act as an artificial tooth root, stimulating the jawbone and promoting bone growth. This helps maintain the natural shape of your face and jaw.Leave your natural teeth unaltered. Some treatment options, like a dental bridge, require grinding down other healthy teeth to support the bridge. Implants replace lost teeth but do not require any alteration of your existing healthy teeth.Implants provide a firm attachment for those with dentures. Many people struggle with dentures that don’t stay in well and tend to slip around. Implants provide strong anchors to keep your denture securely in place. This allows you to to chew your food more easily. This solution also allows you to live without the constant fear that your dentures will slip and cause significant embarrassment in public.

“If you have experienced tooth loss, you are not alone. In fact, more than 35 million American are missing all of their teeth, while 178 million are missing at least one tooth,” said Swisher. “The good news is that there are solutions for you.”

Don’t let tooth loss keep you from a healthy, beautiful smile. If you have experienced tooth loss, talk with Green Country Dental Arts today.

“Our patients’ smiles make it all worthwhile,” said Swisher.

Schedule a visit with Dr. Swisher at 412 E 4th Street in downtown Bartlesville by calling 918-336-1262, or at Green Country Dental Arts at 918-336-1030, located at 1820 SE Washington Blvd.