What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial roots for teeth that are typically composed of titanium that is coated with a biocompatible material. They are implanted into the jawbone through surgical means. Implants provide a sturdy and stable base for crowns, bridges, or dentures. Implants are designed to fuse with the bone over time through a process called osseointegration, which creates a solid and durable bond between the implant and the surrounding tissue.
The implant itself consists of three main parts: the implant body, the abutment, and the prosthetic tooth or teeth. The implant body is the portion that is implanted into the jawbone and serves as the anchor for the abutment and prosthetic tooth. The abutment is a connector piece that hooks the implant body and supports the prosthetic tooth. The prosthetic tooth is the visual part of the implant that looks and functions like a natural tooth.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
The implant is placed into the jawbone by an oral surgeon or periodontist during a surgical procedure with local anesthesia. After, the implant needs time to heal and fuse with the bone, which can take several months. During this time, a temporary tooth replacement may be worn to protect the implant and improve the patient’s appearance.
Once the implant fully merges with the bone, the abutment is attached to the implant body. This piece protrudes above the gum line and provides a stable base for the prosthetic tooth. The prosthetic tooth is then attached to the abutment, completing the implant restoration. The result is a natural-looking and functioning tooth replacement that lasts many years.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are a durable and lasting option to replace missing teeth. With proper care, they can last for decades or even a lifetime. The lifespan of a dental implant relies on several factors, including the patient’s oral health, the quality of the implant and restoration, and the patient’s overall health and lifestyle.
Oral hygiene is one of the most critical factors in the longevity of dental implants. Patients must maintain good oral hygiene practices to prevent infection and gum disease, including regular brushing and flossing. Implants can fail if they become infected or if the surrounding bone or tissue deteriorates due to poor oral health.
Another factor that can affect a dental implants’ lifespan is the implant’s quality and restoration. Choosing a reputable dentist or oral surgeon who uses high-quality materials and follows proper implant placement techniques is essential. Cheap or poorly made implants can fail prematurely, leading to costly and painful complications.
Finally, a patient’s overall health and lifestyle can impact the longevity of dental implants. Patients who smoke or have chronic health conditions like diabetes may have a higher risk of implant failure. Keeping a healthy lifestyle, which includes following a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol intake, can increase the success rate of implants.
ConclusionDental implants are an excellent option for patients who want a long-lasting, natural-looking tooth replacement. With proper care and supervision, dental implants can last many years and improve oral health and quality of life. If you’re considering dental implants, talk to Jason Raines, DDS, or his staff, to understand the process.