Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry and patient’s lives for over 60 years. In the old days, patients with lost teeth had limited options that came with drawbacks. Dental implants have given patients the ability to restore a natural looking and comfortable feeling smile. Implants can replace single teeth, multiple teeth, or your full dentition with great long term success and stability.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an artificial tooth root ( made of titanium) that a periodontist or oral surgeon places into your jaw to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, support multiple teeth as a bridge, or support a denture (making it more comfortable and secure).
Dental implants are an ideal option for people in generally good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, fracture or decay. Dental implants are actually more tooth saving than traditional crowns and bridges, since dental implants do not cut down healthy teeth or rely on adjacent teeth for support.
Sufficient bone, and good overall health will give you the best prognosis for ideal oseointegration, (the way bone fills in around the implant for strength). Dental implants are intimately connected with the underlying bone and gum tissues in the mouth. So, proper fit, good occlusion, and excellent oral hygiene are necessary for long term success. With technique and material advances, dental bone grafts are now more successful than ever and can be used to augment your natural bone. Periodontal disease, diabetes, bleeding problems, etc. can cause difficulty in placement, healing and longevity of the dental implants. Be upfront with your dentist regarding health issues so that the proper steps can be taken to give you the highest chance of success. There is an increased risk of failure in patients who are smokers. For this reason, dental implants are frequently placed only after a patient has stopped smoking.
Top Reasons For Dental Implants
-Cosmetics. Dental implant restorations, (crowns and bridges) are matched to your existing teeth. The only two people in the world who should know you have dental implants should be you and your dentist.
-Stability. Traditionally, many patients opted for removable dentures when missing multiple teeth. This led to compromises in esthetics and function. Dental implants can replace individual teeth but can also be used as support for a removable denture. This makes them as stable as your own natural teeth.
-Maintain Dental Health. Dental implants help to maintain bone levels of the jaws. This will allow your face to maintain its natural structure as long as possible.
-No Worries. Dental implants are stable so you won’t have to worry about them falling out, rocking, or not feeling stable enough to eat what you want. Although dental implants can have complications, they are few and far between. You will never need a root canal on a dental implant nor will you ever get tooth decay.
-Longevity. Dental implants have an over 98% success rate and should (with proper care) last a lifetime.
-Cost. Initially, many think that an implant is way too expensive. Think about these facts, replacing 1 tooth with an implant is only slightly more expensive than a cemented bridge. Bridges generally last 10-20 years if you are diligent with your oral hygiene. The implant will not decay, and usually will last a lifetime with care. In the long run, it is less expensive and does not further damage surrounding teeth.
Dental Implants Conclusion
Dental implants should always be considered as an option when a missing tooth or teeth are involved. There are great ways to have the smile you want, an implant may be the perfect way to give you back what you’ve lost. An informed, educated patient will make the best choice for his/her dental care.