What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a tooth replacement option that is designed to look and function just like your natural teeth. It has a titanium root that is implanted in the bone, and an attractive dental crown placed on top, just like your natural tooth structure, which has both a root and a crown.
Are dental implants better than other tooth replacement options?
For most people, dental implants are the best tooth replacement option. Unlike traditional dentures, dental implants won’t slip out and don’t require any special maintenance. They are secure in the bone like your natural teeth so you can keep eating all your favorite foods. You will be able to speak clearly and laugh loudly without worrying that your replacement teeth will come out.
A dental bridge is another good replacement option, but it depends on your natural teeth for support, and neither dentures nor dental bridges stimulate your jawbone or support your gums. Without stimulation, your body will remove jawbone that used to support your teeth. This can cause your facial dimensions to shrink, causing sagging and folding of your skin, which makes you look older.
Perhaps best of all, dental implants look very attractive.
Why are dental implants made out of titanium?
Although some metals are toxic, titanium is safe for the body. Not only that, but your bone will grow around titanium and incorporate it into the jawbone. And because titanium is very strong, it gives dental implants incredible endurance and a very long life.
How long do dental implants last?
Essentially, dental implants last forever. The current record-holder for dental implants is 48 years, and more than 90% of dental implants last about 20 years with no signs of failing.
Do some dental implants fail?
Yes. More than half of all dental implant failures occur in the first year, related to poor case planning, poor maintenance, or the failure of the body to actually incorporate the implant. The most common cause of dental implant loss is the same as for tooth loss: gum disease.
Who can get dental implants?
Most people who have lost one or more teeth can get dental implants. The only reason why you couldn’t get dental implants is if you’re not healthy enough for surgery or if you’re too young and your jawbone hasn’t finished growing.
People who are smokers, have a personal or family history of gum disease, or are taking certain medications can get dental implants but have a higher risk of implant failure.
How many dental implants will I need?
Dental implants can be used to support an individual tooth, but if you’re replacing more than one tooth, we can use a dental bridge or a denture that secures to your dental implants so that you don’t need as many implants as you had teeth. Because dental implants are so strong, you can usually replace an entire arch of teeth with four to 7 implants.
What is the dental implant process like?
In the dental implant process, we first have to make sure your mouth is healthy enough for dental implants. This means you might need to get gum disease treatment and maybe a bone graft before you can get your dental implants.
If you have natural teeth that need to be extracted, that can usually be done at the same time your dental implants are placed. We will evaluate your implant once it’s placed and determine if it’s stable enough to support a dental crown or if it needs to heal first. Don’t worry—we have other options to fill the gap so you never have to show anything less than a mouth full of pearly whites.
It may take three to six months for the implant to fully heal, but once it’s healed, we’ll place the final crown on the implant, and it’s finished. All that’s left is maintenance.
How do I take care of my dental implants?
Care for dental implants is easy: just brush, floss, and make your normal dental checkups. Be sure to brush and floss gently around the implant, but, otherwise, there’s no special care required.