THE BEAUTY OF NATURAL TEETH
Your teeth are an important part of your personal appearance and lifestyle. A beautiful smile enhances your overall presence and healthy teeth allow you to eat and speak with confidence.
REPLACING LOST TEETH
Healthy teeth cannot be taken for granted. Cavities, gum disease and accidents are every day occurrences that can lead to teeth loss. This can compromise your eating habits, speech and appearance.
Throughout history, there have been efforts to find suitable replacements for lost teeth. The first evidence of attempts to replace teeth dates to the year 2600 B.C. Cultures from that point forward tried to replace lost teeth with human or animal teeth and had very little success in most cases. Over time, many materials have been tried. Dentists first began to use porcelain for natural-colored teeth about 100 years ago. The first dental implant was recorded in France in 1807 and consisted of a molar implant with a gold root.
The science known as implantology has advanced through the years with vast improvements in both technique and the materials used for implants. For the last 40 years, dental implants have offered a way of replacing teeth completely and long term. They replace one or more lost teeth or hold dentures securely in the mouth. Dental implants are becoming even more popular because of the convincing success rates of over 96%.
HOW DO MODERN DENTAL IMPLANTS WORK?
Implants are indicated whenever at least one tooth is missing. If the missing space(s) is not filled, the teeth surrounding the space often drift, the opposing teeth in the other arch will erupt further into the oral cavity (hypereruption) which can change your bite, bone erosion can occur in the area, and even changes in speech might occur. The popularity of implants has increased steadily over the years.
Implants are designed to replace the root of a missing tooth and can be used to support crowns, bridges, or dentures. The root-form implant is the most common type and basically consists of three main components:
Implant screw – This part of the implant is made of titanium and is surgically placed in the bone. Titanium is accepted by the body extremely well and fuses with the bone (called osseointegration) during the healing process.
Abutment – This is a metal collar that attaches to the top of the implant screw and is the base for a crown, bridge, or denture.
Crown – The crown is the manufactured tooth that fits on top of the abutment. Bridges and dentures can also be secured to the abutment. The placement of the crown, bridge, or denture is the final step of the implant process.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY?
Although there is always some level of risk associated with any surgical procedure, usually there are no major long-lasting negative effects of dental implant surgery.
Temporary effects include pain and swelling and inflammation of the gums. The possibility of long-term adverse effects is low, but rarely, nerve or sinus injury may occur.
WHO SHOULD CONSIDER DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants should be considered by patients who have lost one or more of their natural teeth and are not happy with (or cannot tolerate) dentures or other options. Most people who have lost teeth can have successful implants!
The ideal candidate for dental implants must have healthy gums and sufficient underlying bone. In addition, that person must have good general health.
Age is not a drawback.
The person considering dental implants must be highly motivated because the most difficult part of dental implant success is aftercare.Long-term success depends on meticulous dental hygiene and good care of the oral area. That includes brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups. Only persons who are able to achieve that level of oral care are good candidates for dental implants.
HOW LONG WILL A DENTAL IMPLANT LAST?
The length of time that implants will last depends not only on the skill with which they are placed, but also on the care that is given thereafter. The partnership of the patient and dentist is crucial for maintaining dental implants.
The life of implants varies depending on the area in which they are placed, the condition of the underlying bone and soft tissue, the type of implant used, the general health of the patient, and the aftercare of the implant. With modern improved techniques and materials, the majority of implants last for decades.
Dental implants are one of the most advanced complex procedures offered by modern dentistry.Major technological advances have contributed to implants that are both effective and long-lasting.
Your dentist will help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a dental implant, considering your unique set of circumstances. Together you can make the best decision for your long-term dental health.