Are you missing one or more teeth? Do you wish you could have those teeth back and have a fully functional set again–and a beautiful smile? Dental implants can do that. They are a tooth replacement that is the most like your natural teeth. They look natural. They function like teeth do–eat all your favorite foods again. And you maintain them just like natural teeth: brush, floss, and make regular dental visits. If you maintain them properly, they can even last a lifetime.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have rapidly become the most desirable tooth replacement option available. That’s because they:
- Look like natural teeth
- Let you eat all your favorite foods
- Won’t fall out
- Require no special maintenance
- Support themselves
- Stimulate your gums and jawbone to maintain appearance
- Can last a lifetime with proper care
Dental implants look like natural teeth because they’re built like natural teeth. They have a root that bonds with the jawbone, and an attractive crown for chewing and appearance. Once they bond to your jawbone, they are secure and functional, so you can eat all your favorite foods, even those you might have thought you’d given up–whole apples, corn on the cob, steak.
Dental implants don’t require any special maintenance. All you have to do is brush, floss, and make regular dental visits, like with your natural teeth.
Dental implants support themselves in your bone, which means they aren’t leaning on or bonded to your natural teeth. This helps preserve the natural teeth. It also helps stimulate your jaw so your body maintains the bone and gums, which helps the implant and the rest of your smile look good for longer.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
When we say that dental implants last a lifetime, we mean it. We literally know of no upper limit to their longevity. Large, long-term studies of dental implants show that more than 90% of them last 20 or 30 years. Some people have had them for more than 50 years.
But to get that long life out of your implants, you have to take proper care of them. Technical failures of dental implants are very rare, about 2 out of 1000 will break over 20 years of use or so. Most dental implants are lost to gum disease (which is also the leading cause of tooth loss). So proper oral hygiene is essential. But with that, there’s no limit to how long your implants could last.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Yes, you are most likely a good candidate for dental implants. There are only 3 absolute requirements for a dental implant candidate:
- You must be an adult whose jaw has stopped growing
- You must have one or more missing teeth
- You must be healthy enough for surgery
If you meet these three criteria, you are a candidate for dental implants, but it may not be simple. We have to take care if you:
- Have gum disease
- Have low bone at the implant site
- Are taking certain medications
- Are a smoker
Dental implants are vulnerable to gum disease like teeth, so we might want to treat your gum disease before placing implants. And if you don’t have enough bone to support an implant, we might perform a bone graft first to make sure the implant will be secure.
Some medications can impact the success of your dental implants, such as antidepressants and osteoporosis medications. We will talk to you and your doctor about the relative risks and consider if medication changes are necessary.
Smoking can triple your risk of dental implant failure. It’s recommended that you quit smoking before you get dental implants. At a minimum, you should not smoke for several weeks before you get an implant and for at least 8 weeks after implant placement.
Get Your Tooth Replacement Now
If you’re unhappy with the gaps in your smile, dental implants can make your smile whole again. To get your implant procedure started, please call (724) 282-4436 today for an appointment with Dr. Bob at Advanced Dentistry of Butler.