Rather than resting on the gum line like removable dentures, or using nearby teeth as anchors for fixed bridges, dental implants are long-term replacements that your doctor places in your jaw bone.
Did you know that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost a minimum of 1 permanent tooth due to gum disease or an accident? Furthermore, by age 74, 26% of adults have zero permanent teeth remaining!
Technology has evolved to the point where these patients have alternative treatments outside of dentures or fixed bridges. Dentures and fixed bridges tend to have problems associated with them as time goes on. Dentures can become loose and make embarrassing clicking sounds when people talk or eat. They can also lead to bone loss. Fixed bridges can affect the adjacent teeth that are healthy. Not to say that a denture or a fixed bridge is not a good option. They are both very good and appropriate options. However, the research and science has clearly shown dental implants to be a much better long-term treatment for the patient.
Dental implants are long-term replacements that your doctor surgically places in the jawbone. These dental implants are composed of titanium metal that “fuses” with the jawbone through a process called “osseointegration,” these implants never slip or make embarrassing noises that show the world that you have “false teeth,” and because they are made of titanium you do not have to worry about decay like you see with fixed bridges. Also, given the fact that the titanium is surgically inserted into your jawbone you will typically not have an issue with bone loss.
Dental implants have been around for a while now. Doctors have been placed them for over 20 years and the best part is that most of the implants that were placed in the late 80’s and early 90’s are still operating at peak performance. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.
If you are interested in replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant it is important to understand the basics. A dental implant is comprised of 3 parts: the titanium implant, the abutment, and the crown. The titanium implant is surgically placed in the jawbone where the titanium will then fuse with the jawbone. The abutment fits over the part of the implant that is protruding from the gum line, and the crown is the part that looks like a natural tooth that attaches to the abutment
Many times people who are missing one tooth opt to get a fixed bridge; but there are a few things that you need to know before taking this rout. A bridge may damage the healthy, adjacent teeth that may or may not need to be restored in the future. Then depending on the age of the patient there is the additional cost of possibly having to replace the bridge once, twice, or more over the course of a lifetime. This also holds true for a removable partial denture. Research has shown that within five to seven years there is a failure rate of up to 30% in teeth located next to a fixed bridge or removable partial denture. Clearly opting to get a fixed bridge or a removable partial denture can end up being much more expensive in the long run.
The presence of natural teeth or implants preserves the jawbone. When a tooth is extracted or missing, the bone may erode and/or weaken to the point where bone grafting will be necessary for placement of the dental implant. When the implant integrates with the bone in your jaw that implant will provide the same stability as the tooth that was previously there.
One of the things that patients and doctors alike can hang their hat on is that there is over 50 years of clinical research supporting dental implants. Most of the time implants are the best long-term treatment option to replace missing teeth.
Advances in technology have made it possible for almost anyone to be a candidate for dental implants. Missing teeth can be embarrassing and can make it hard to speak clearly or eat the foods you love.
The old solutions to missing teeth were dentures, bridges, and crowns but these solutions provide only short-term results and can be difficult to maintain.
Dental implants are a comfortable, natural-looking alternative to natural teeth. Implants not only preserve the bone tissue, they also act and look like natural teeth – allowing you to eat and speak clearly. They can be used to replace one or many missing teeth.
During your dental implant consultation, the doctor will evaluate your mouth and determine the best possible dental implant procedure to meet your needs. Implants are a viable option for most patients and have even been performed on patients with diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Patients who have any of the following conditions will need to discuss their options with the dentist.
Schedule an appointment today to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants!