You only get one set of permanent teeth. Losing even one tooth is a significant event that not only affects your life in the short-term but sets the stage for oral health problems down the road. Even eating and speaking become more difficult, and you may adapt to subtle changes without even realizing it. If the tooth is in a visible area, it can undermine your self-confidence and make you less prone to smile. When it comes to replacing a tooth, you have options, such as bridges and partial dentures, but none of those options are as sophisticated and permanent as the dental implant.
What Does the Dental Implant Procedure Entail?
The implant itself is a titanium post shaped similar to a screw. Your implantologist will insert the post directly into your jawbone, and while that may seem quite invasive, the procedure is relatively minor and only requires local anesthesia in most cases. After surgery, the bone and gums must heal. After that healing period, your dentist will fabricate a custom-fit dental crown to place over the implant. Implant success rate is greater than 95 percent, which is much higher than any other replacement option.
How Does a Dental Implant Function?
The post mimics the tooth root, which is important because it is necessary to stimulate the jaw. The post also provides support and stability for an oral restoration, and that allows it to be as strong as a natural tooth and function just like one as well. During the healing period mentioned earlier, the implant actually fuses with the jaw, and you can smile, eat, and talk without the worry of the implant ever moving.
How Long Will a Dental Implant Last?
Since an implant actually fuses with the jaw and becomes a part of it, it should last your entire lifetime. Very serious dental damage would be required to undermine an implant. While implants do tend to be more expensive than other tooth replacement options up front, the implant is more cost-effective when you consider the total cost. The oral restoration placed atop the implant is not as permanent. However, if you practice good oral hygiene, visit your dentist every six months, and do not abuse your teeth, your crown can last upward of 25 years, which makes it a fantastic investment in your oral health as well.
Advantages of Dental Implants
There are a number of advantages that make dental implants the ideal tooth replacement option.
- Custom-made crowns look like real teeth.
- There are no diet restrictions. You can eat what you like.
- Implants last a lifetime. Bridges last seven to 15 years
- An implant preserves your jawbone because it stimulates it like an actual tooth.
- Implants cause no wear and tear on neighboring teeth as bridges do.
- Dental implants help to avoid gum disease and other oral health issues.
- Enjoy your favorite foods. Chewing will be easier and lead to better digestion.
- None of the frustrations that come with dentures.
- Improved appearance through a naturally shaped face.
- Clearer speech and no changes to your natural speech.
- Improved self-confidence and better first impressions.
- Convenience. There is no need to remove and clean dentures.
Dental Implants vs. Dental Bridges
Dental bridges are a tried-and-tested way to replace missing teeth and have been used by dentists for many decades, but they do have certain disadvantages associated with them that are important to note. In order to place a bridge, your natural teeth to either side must be shaped to a degree in order to accommodate the placement. The bridge is then cemented to those natural teeth. Once in place, the bridge depends on those adjacent teeth to support it. The support is even greater if the bridge spans multiple teeth. All of these factors undermine the natural teeth over time.
Dental implants have been around for decades as well, but there have been a number of technological advancements made in the last couple of decades that have advanced them even more. The modern implant, in other words, is far more sophisticated than the implant being used even 20 years ago. Implants do not wear on nearby teeth because they do not require those teeth for support, and they do not need those teeth to be prepared to accommodate the oral restoration. Bridges will require much more upkeep over the years, and implants tend to be more economical over the long run.
Restore Your Missing Teeth
If you are missing one or more teeth or need to have teeth extracted, dental implants are the most sophisticated way to replace them. Jeffrey D. Clark, DDS, is a leading dentist in Arizona with more than 20 years of experience delivering dental implantology of the highest caliber. Dr. Clark partners with Dr. Joe Mehranfar, who is regarded as one of the premier dental implantology practitioners in Arizona. Call Scottsdale Dental Excellence today at 480 585 1853 to schedule your consultation.