Despite improvements in dental care, millions of people suffer tooth loss, caused by decay, periodontal disease, or injury. For many years, the only treatment options to replace missing teeth were bridges and dentures with suboptimal results. Modern dental implants are the future to secure and natural teeth replacement.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
There are many advantages to dental implants, including:
How Successful Are Dental Implants?
Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime.
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders — such as diabetes or heart disease — or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.
Insurances in general do not cover implants, with few plans covering partial cost. Our staff is ready to assist in reviewing your plan to answer questions prior to treatment.
The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualized treatment plan, consisting of reviewing x-rays, jawbone health, and patient health history.
The next step is surgical placement of a small titanium post into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, the bone integrates with the titanium post, anchoring it securely in the jaw, in a process called osseo-integration. The healing process to secure implants stable for the next step is around 6 months.
Once the implant has to the integrated, a small connector post — called an abutment — is attached and ready to securely hold the new tooth. To make the new tooth or teeth, your dentist makes impressions of your teeth, and creates a model of your bite (which captures all of your teeth, their type, and arrangement). The new tooth or teeth is based on this model. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment.
Instead of one or more individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retain and support a removable denture.
Your dentist also will match the color of the new teeth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement teeth look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.
Dental implants require the same care as real teeth, including brushing, flossing, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, and regular dental check-ups.