Dental implants are becoming increasingly popular as an intervention for tooth loss, but patients may not know a lot about this treatment option as they are deciding how to proceed with replacing their missing teeth. It can be helpful to understand the technology that makes dental implants so effective and have knowledge of some facts about this treatment.
Dental Implant Technology
Dental implants are small cylinders made of titanium, which is biocompatible. That is, the bone tissue at the implant site is able to form a strong bond with the implant after the implant dentist inserts it into the jaw. This osseointegration process leaves the dental implant as a permanent fixture in the jaw, allowing it to function as an artificial tooth root. Dental implants can be used to support a variety of restorations, including single crowns, dental bridges and even full dentures.
The Facts About Dental Implants
Patients may not be aware of many of the characteristics of dental implants as they consider their treatment options. Here are four dental implant facts that can help to inform your decision.
- Dental implants are the only structurally complete tooth replacement option available. Conventional prosthetics, like fixed dental bridges and standard dentures, lack a root-like structure. They are far less functional than biological teeth as a result. In contrast, dental implants preserve a significant percentage of the missing tooth’s function because of the artificial root.
- Dental implants preserve jawbone tissue. One of the functions of a tooth’s root is anchoring the jawbone tissue. When conventional appliances are used to replace missing teeth, the bone slowly erodes because there is no structure present to secure it. Dental implants prevent this process.
- Dental implants can last for decades with proper care. Because the jawbone is more stable with dental implants, the appliances that they support are quite stable over time. However, you must continue to practice good oral hygiene to prevent gum disease and other infections that can threaten the longevity of your dental implants.
- Patients must have enough bone at the implant site to qualify for treatment. Bone loss or congenital bone defects can be a barrier to implant placement if there is not enough bone tissue present to support osseointegration. However, bone grafts can be performed to supplement the available bone tissue in such cases. Your implant dentist will advise you if you have sufficient bone to proceed with implant placement or if a bone graft is indicated in your case.
To learn more about dental implants, call Newton Dental Group today to schedule your appointment.