Our natural teeth take a lot of punishment throughout our daily lives; it is not uncommon then for many of us to experience the loss of a tooth. Teeth can be lost as a result of one or several mitigating factors, from accident to gum disease, and the effect a lost tooth can have on our dental health can be damaging. With dental implants, however, we can have a permanent replacement that looks and acts just as a natural tooth should.
Dental implants involve the placement of a small titanium rod into the gum tissue by an implant dentist. Over a period of time, the titanium bonds with the patient’s natural jawbone, in a process called osseointegration. This bonding provides the implant with strength, while also giving stimulus to the bone and gum tissues, helping to maintain health and tissue mass.
Once the bonding has been complete, the implant dentist tops the titanium rod with a porcelain crown that has been shaded and shaped to best match the appearance of the patient’s natural teeth. The completed implant acts for all intents and purposes as a normal, natural, healthy tooth by preserving the patient’s bite pattern and strength, aiding in speech, and preventing teeth from shifting position.
Due to the inherent strength afforded to the implant via osseointegration, the lifespan of a dental implant can stretch for many years. However, there are some factors which can affect the life expectancy of an implant; such issues as the quantity and quality of the jawbone; the location of the implant and the level of dental after-care can all have a bearing on how long a dental implant can expect to last. Health issues such as diabetes, or whether the patient is a smoker, can also affect the longevity of dental implants.
Like natural teeth, a good dental health regime can prolong the life of the dental implant, and it isn’t uncommon for dental implants to last a lifetime in the right circumstances.
To get the best out of dental implants, patients should ensure they seek regular dental checkups and maintain a good dental health program which involves daily brushing and flossing; lifestyle changes, such as cutting down on smoking tobacco, and dietary changes can all help to prolong the life of dental implants considerably.
To learn if dental implants are an appropriate tooth replacement solution for you, contact the office of Drs. Adam Tan and Stephen Crosby to schedule your professional consultation.