If you are thinking about dental implants, you may have heard a lot about them already. Unfortunately, there is a lot of faulty information out there. Dental implants can be life-changing for some people, but they aren’t for everyone. We would like to tell you some facts about dental implants so you can decide whether they are for you or not.
In previous generations, dentures were the only remedy for tooth loss. A lot of people still feel stigmatised by having dentures. In addition, upper dentures cover up the palate, making it much more difficult to taste food. When dental implants came along, they were seen as a “breath of fresh air” by dentists and patients alike.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is best described as a replacement “root” made of titanium or a similar metal. It is shaped like a screw and fused into the jawbone, where it substitutes for the real root. The “tooth” is a dental crown that is made to fit into the dental implant. There are some things you need to know before getting a dental implant or a series of implants, though.
Dental Implants Get an “A” for their Success Rate
Dental implants have a 95% success rate. Most patients have one or more implants with no complications. There are two factors that contribute to the probability of a successful dental implant: the dental health of the patient and the expertise of the doctor performing the procedure.
Often, failure of a dental implant has more to do with the health of the jaw than the expertise of the doctor.
Dental Implants are the Closest Thing to Natural Teeth
Dental implants look and feel just like real teeth. They are customised to be the same size, shape and appearance of your natural teeth. A great implant specialist can provide a replacement tooth that is like a clone of the missing tooth. Because the implant is fused to your bone, the tooth feels the same as a crown on a real tooth would.
It is Easier to Eat with Dental Implants than Dentures
Because implants are so much like normal teeth, they don’t cause any eating problems. If anything, they may be a bit stronger than your natural teeth. Dentures can slide or move out of place when chewing something hard or chewy. Implants stay in just like regular teeth. There is no sensation of pain and no extra effort involved in eating.
Dental Implants Replace the Missing Tooth’s Root Perfectly
When you lose one or many teeth, a void is created where the root used to be. Dentures only replace the part on top where the tooth is. Dental implants replace the root. The roots of your teeth are a lot like roots of a tree. They anchor against your jawbone. Dental implants are inserted in a way that makes contact with the jawbone and “fool” it into thinking the real root is there. That signals bone to grow new tissue around the implant. This actually creates a natural bond between the metal and the bone.
When people get dentures, they eventually lose mass and density in the jawbone, making it necessary to refit the dentures. With implants, the jawbone remains its original size.
Dental Implants Can Protect Healthy Teeth
If you break a tooth or it gets knocked out and you have to replace it, the other option is a partial bridge. To accommodate the partial bridge, dentists often shave a portion of the adjacent teeth off. This is not necessary with a dental implant. The combination of the implant and the crown not only keep the dentist from needing to alter other teeth, but it also keeps the adjacent healthy teeth straight in line.
Contraindications for Dental Implants
Most people can have dental implants, but there are two general contraindications. You may not have implants if the bone isn’t healthy enough to hold them. Some systemic diseases also make it impossible to provide implants.