In the world today, despite the improvements in dental care and treatments, many people suffer tooth loss. In most cases, people do lose some of their teeth due to dental trauma, untreated gum disease or deep cavities. In the early days of dentistry, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. Fixed bridges or removable dentures are not really great since they affect the health of the neighboring teeth and may even lead to bone loss in the jaw.
As of now, after the introduction of dental implants, it has been a popular alternative to dentures and bridges. Dental implants can last a lifetime, your bone is also better preserved. The implants are specially designed to mimick the natural teeth without affecting the nearby teeth, they can’t develop cavities too.
What is dental implant?
Dental dental implant is an artificial replacement tooth roots that is placed into the jawbone, to replace a lost natural tooth. In dentistry, the process of fusion between the dental implant and jawbone is known as “osseointegration.” Dental implants have greater advantages and functionality over other tooth replacement options. Unlike most other available tooth replacement options, a dental implant has strong foundations and functions just like a natural tooth. The implant replaces the tooth without sacrificing the health of neighboring teeth.
Over the years, technology and science have progressed to greatly improve the nature and outcomes of dental implants. However, most patients do get afraid when it comes to dental implants. The thought of having an artificial tooth and root fused into your jaw bone can be frightening. Well, the materials that are used to produce dental implants are safe. Most dental implants are made with friendly material such as titanium. Titanium implants integrate quite very well with bones without being recognized or treated as a foreign object in our body. In fact, dental implants integrate with your jawbone, it helps to keep the bone healthy, preventing bone loss. An implant will replace your tooth root as well as make sure that the bone is better preserved.
Advantages of dental implants
Like I said earlier, dental implant provides several advantages over other tooth replacement options. Here are some of the advantages of having a dental implant:
1. It’s durable: with good care, an implant will last many years, even for a lifetime. Implants never slip or make embarrassing noises, they are always held tightly on the jaw bone.
2. It’s convenient: a single implant can be more esthetic and easier to keep clean than a bridge. It eliminates inconvenience such as in the case of removing dentures. The implant stays firmly without any need for adhesives to keep them in place. Dental implants functions just like your natural teeth, it’s very strong allowing you to eat your favorite foods with no fear of pain or cracks.
3. It mimick your natural teeth: implants are specially designed to look and feel like your own natural teeth. Sometimes, the gums around a bridge can receed, at this point the cement holding the bridge in place can also wash out, leaving a visible defect when the metal base or collar of the bridge becomes exposed. (1) All these can actually lead unattractive smile, but with dental implant you won’t experience such problems.
4. Improved speech: for some patients, ordinary bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable when it comes to speaking. Most people experience difficulties in speaking with dentures, since poor-fitting dentures can slip at any time causing you to mumble or slur your words. (2) With dental implants you are free to speak without the worry that the treated tooth might slip.
5. It does not cause any harm to your oral health: placing a dental implant don’t require reducing other teeth. When placing a tooth-supported bridge, the adjacent teeth will be ground down to support the cemented bridge. With a bridge, some of the bone that are previously surrounding the tooth may begin to deteriorate. Dentures can affect one’s taste and sensory experience with food. However, implants does not affect the health of neighboring teeth and the surrounding bone in any way.
Getting a dental implant
Choosing a dental implant for tooth replacement over the other options is fine. But you must know that Implants are more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement. As of this time just few dental insurance plans covers dental implants, most covering only less than 10 percent of the total cost. Well, you might be able to afford tthe money for the restoration treatment, but everyone is not eligible.
To receive implants, the dental professional must carry out some necessary examinations to ensure that you have enough healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. The results from the clinical assessment will determine whether a patient is a good candidate for a dental implant. Even after the implant, you must ensure to keep this structures healthy for long-term success of dental implants. (3)
If it turns out that you are eligible for dental implant, on the appointment day, a small post made of titanium is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. After the procedure, the bone is given enough time to heal and grow around the implanted metal post naturally. The healing time depends greatly on the quality of bone present, in most cases it takes from two to six months for the bone to heal completely.
How successful is dental implants?
With our advancements in technology and science, dental professionals have greatly improve the nature and outcomes of dental implant placement. However, the success rates of the replacement treatment varies depending on the quality of the jaw bone where an implant was placed. With proper care and regular dental visits implants can last a lifetime. Dental implant has a high success rate close to 98%. According to reports from patients who had received dental implants before, it is believed that the procedure is painless with little discomforts.