Are you thinking about getting one or more dental implants to enhance or restore your smile? Since the appearance of our teeth plays such an important role in how we view ourselves, dental implants make a great deal of sense. We have put together this guide to walk you through every step of the process, with everything you need to know. This guide will inform you about the types of implants, materials used, and what to expect when you receive your dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a type of artificial tooth with a root that we insert surgically within your jawbone. Each implant consists of three parts: a titanium screw, an abutment and crown.
Hands down, dental implants offer a superior treatment choice for restoring lost teeth. Not only do they allow for the restoration of tooth functionality, they look and feel real. You can also receive one or more dental implants without damaging neighboring teeth.
Dental implants typically last for at least one or two decades. The length of time that a dental implant will last depends upon patient care, the state of their overall health, and the quality of materials used. Another important factor is that front dental implants tend to last longer because they experience less impact from the force of chewing.
Are dental implants for everyone?
Although dental implants make the best choice for replacing missing teeth, they are not for everyone. You need to have enough jawbone material present so that the new implant is firmly anchored. You should also have healthy gums.
Fortunately, just because you are not currently ready to receive a dental implant does not mean that you may not ultimately make a good candidate for the procedure. If your jawbone is unable to support an implant, procedures like sinus lift, bone augmentation and ridge expansion can restore the area and make it suitable for a dental implant.
What are dental implants made of?
The most common material used for making dental implants is a metal called titanium. Titanium is favored by dentists for use in implants because it is an extremely strong material that will not react against organic materials within your jawbone. After placement of your new dental implant, your jawbone will grow naturally around it, just like with a natural tooth root.
Titanium makes the best choice for constructing a dental implant because it is an extremely corrosion-resistant metal that is biologically compatible with the human body. The characteristics of titanium are closest to that of organic bone material.
In its purest form, titanium is actually too soft to be used as an implant. So when we are referring to titanium, we actually mean various alloys, or mixtures of metal. For this reason, not every titanium implant is the same. And a type of ceramic called zirconia can be used in dental implants in rare cases where the patient is allergic to titanium.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental Implants Help Prevent Bone Loss
If you have a missing tooth, leaving it untreated is always an option. However, it comes at a cost. Your jawbone actually needs the presence of a tooth root. A missing tooth eventually leads to the loss of jawbone mass in the area of the missing tooth. This can cause other problems. One problem is that, without the presence of a tooth root, your jawbone will begin to deteriorate. Known as resorption, this process can even lead to facial disfigurement, as facial structures begin subsiding in the area of the resorption.
Dental Implants Protect Surrounding Teeth
Whenever you have a missing tooth, not only will your jawbone resorb, but adjacent teeth will begin drifting into the empty space left by the missing teeth. This can further lead to difficulty with your bite and the function of your teeth.
Because your new dental implant will be serving as a substitute tooth root, it offers a stable foundation for a tooth replacement, and there is no reason for involving surrounding teeth. Other tooth replacement techniques cannot replace tooth roots. For this reason, adjacent teeth must be cut down, which compromises their long-term health.
To make room for dental bridges, some of the enamel from teeth near the missing tooth must be removed, which leaves the dentin tooth layer behind. Eventually, the cement attached to the bridge will wear away, allowing bacteria to move under the bridge, which can quickly decay the dentin layer. This eventually leads to dental bridge failure and, if decay infects the nerve, a root canal.
When teeth are reduced to make room for a dental bridge, there is no way to replace the missing tooth structure, compromising these teeth. Eventually, this leads to additional treatment that may be costly and extensive.
When teeth are missing, surrounding teeth must now bear the entire force of the bite that was normally absorbed with the help of the former tooth. This leads to a weakening of tooth structure.
Dental Implants Success Rate
Your new dental implant was created to last a lifetime. Dental implants actually have the highest success rates of tooth replacement options, with a success rate of over 95 percent, based upon clinical studies conducted over the past four to five decades.
The American Dental Association has stated that the average lifespan of a dental bridge is around 10 years, mainly due to weakened structure. If you get a partial denture, it will normally last around four years due to bone resorption.
* Dental implants have been found to be 95 percent successful, lasting for 50 years or more.
* Dental implant success rates will not decrease over time.
* Dental bridge success rates steadily decrease after one decade.
* One in three dental bridges can be expected to fail within 15 years.
* Dental implants involve fewer complications than dental bridges.
If you would like to receive more information about dental implants, please contact the office of Arthur Glosman, DDS, today to book your initial consultation.