Implants: A Modern Dental Miracle
If you lose a tooth today, you’re lucky! That is, you’re lucky compared to those who lost a tooth in the past. Once upon a time, when you lost a tooth, your options were limited. Tooth replacement dates all the way back to medieval times, but they were very awkward and certainly didn’t feel like real teeth. In addition, tooth implant failure rate and infections were high. In more recent years, bridges and dentures have been the standard go-to for lost teeth, but they lack the tooth root that makes a tooth feel like a tooth to the individual who houses it.
Today, a tooth implant is the closest thing to nature’s design, including a component that mimics the tooth root and a beautiful, durable, tooth-colored crown (your prosthetic tooth). The tooth root is very important to your overall oral health, as you will see as you read on.
From how implants feel, to the implant process, to the fun word “osseointegration,” here are 6 of your questions about implants answered.
1. What is the biggest advantage a tooth implant has over other solutions?
There is more than one respectable dental solution to missing teeth. There are many factors to consider when replacing a missing tooth or teeth, and your dentist will help you choose the best one for you. The advantages of implants, however, are many.
Implants help keep your other teeth from shifting.
Implants keep your teeth from shifting by providing stability to nearby teeth. The very presence of a tooth, complete with a root, keeps other teeth from shifting out of place, thereby potentially saving you from even more missing teeth.
Dental implants stimulate your jawbone.
This is perhaps the biggest benefit of a dental implant. An implant is strategically placed in your jaw, where it creates a solid foundation for your tooth. Did you know that every time you chew, the pressure you put on a new implant stimulates the jawbone to grow tightly around it?
When you don’t have a tooth root or implant in your jawbone, it can actually diminish the strength and density of the jawbone over time. That’s why it’s so important to keep your natural teeth and replace any teeth that you lose as quickly as possible to help maintain overall oral health.
Implants can last a lifetime.
When properly cared for by you and your dentist, implants can last a lifetime. The titanium posts won’t break down, and the beautiful crown on top is durable and reliable. With regular care, you can expect your dental implant to last and last.
Implants can replace loose or wobbly dentures.
Implants are a wonderful replacement for dentures. If you are tired of loose and slipping dentures, talk to us about an implant option that fits your lifestyle and budget. The range of implant solutions varies from replacing every tooth with a single-tooth implant to implant-supported bridges and much more. We’ll be able to help you navigate the choices.
Implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
Having a dental implant fused to your jawbone is the closest thing to a natural tooth because the substitute tooth root stimulates your jawbone and doesn’t put any extra wear on nearby teeth. The implant forms a secure foundation for the attachment of a dental crown or bridge that is custom created for you.
In short, an implant is the most advanced prosthetic tooth you can get today. Few other solutions compare.
2. Are they removable?
No. Just like your real teeth, implant teeth are not removable. They are not dentures or bridges and they remain firmly rooted to your jawbone just like your real teeth.
3. Can you sleep with a dental implant?
Yes. Because they mimic your real teeth and roots, implants will not disturb your sleep. They will not move or shift because they are firmly attached to your jawbone.
4. Are implants good for you?
Because implants preserve the jawbone and support nearby teeth, they are the best tooth replacement solution available.
5. What are implants made of?
The part that mimics the tooth is called a “restoration” and is similar to a crown. It can be made of anything a crown can be made of—the typical materials are medical-grade, durable porcelain or ceramic or even precious metals like gold (or a combination of precious metals). Your dentist will be able to help you choose the right material for your prosthetic tooth.
The part that mimics the root is made from medical-grade titanium (at the time of this post). Dental procedures are always undergoing innovations, but medical-grade titanium is the material of choice and has been for years. Titanium is a material that has a high acceptance rate by your jawbone—a process called osseointegration. This brings us to the next question.
6. What is osseointegration?
Okay, so you might not be asking this one, but it’s interesting, so here we go. Osseointegration is the process of your jawbone accepting your new implant root.
But it’s much more amazing and complex than that. Your alveolar bone is living (like all bone), and functionally connects and grows around your implant, giving it strength and durability. Truly, the human body is amazing in its ability to heal and adapt.
Are dental implants right for you?
To ensure dental implants are the best treatment plan for you, your doctor will conduct a medical and dental history as well as a complete oral exam. Dr. K. will review your treatment options with you before beginning the dental implant process.
Throughout the healing process, it’s critical to maintain good oral hygiene habits and follow your doctor’s instructions. Implants require special care to ensure the maximum potential for success.
Talk to your dentist about your tooth options if you have a missing, broken, or cracked tooth. Though implants are a great solution for missing teeth, there are also others to be considered. Wherever you are in your dental journey, we can help.