Modern dental implants, sometimes called “your third set of teeth,” have revolutionized the practice of dentistry. As permanent replacements for missing teeth, dental implants are highly successful.
A dental implant is composed of two parts. The implant actually replaces the tooth root (like the root of your original tooth). It is usually made of commercially pure titanium, which has the capacity to fuse with the bone of your jaw. This fusion is called osseo-integration, meaning “becoming part of the bone.” When this happens, living bone cells actually fuse with the surface layer of the titanium implant, which stabilizes the bone as well. A crown (the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line) is attached to the implant and can be made of ceramic material that exactly matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Studies have shown that the success rate of dental implants is greater than 95%. Here's what we need to know to make sure dental implants succeed:
- We need to know about your general health. Do you smoke? What medications are you taking? Do you have osteoporosis or a compromised immune (resistance) system?
- We will also perform a detailed assessment of the health of your teeth, gums, and jaws to ensure you are a candidate for dental implants.
- Do you have sufficient bone to anchor the implants? Is the bone quality adequate? Tooth-supporting bone tends to melt away or resorb when a tooth is lost, so it is important to ensure that it is maintained when a tooth is lost or extracted. We can perform bone grafting to minimize resorption and build up bone tissue if necessary. We will consider the quality and quantity of your bone as part of your assessment.
- After the implants have been placed, good dental habits are important. As with your natural teeth, carefully cleaning your new implant crowns and their surrounding gums every day is a necessity.
- Continue to visit us on a regular basis. Regular checkups and maintenance can avoid breakdown of the surrounding bone and gum tissues.
- If you grind your teeth, we can provide you with a night guard to help to protect your implants from wear and undue stress, which can affect the integration with the bone.
Implants are an excellent choice to replace missing teeth. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about dental implants. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Success Rate” and “Dental Implants: Your Third Set of Teeth.”