Due to the latest in dental technology, today you have advanced options for improving your oral health and enhancing your smile at the same time. Dental implants are one such option and are already proving to be a beneficial and popular choice for replacing missing or damaged teeth. They are also durable and long-lasting, requiring much the same care as your natural teeth.
Why Are Dental Implants So Beneficial?
Dental implants can serve as a permanent solution to missing teeth, mostly due to the fact that they fuse with the natural bone once surgically placed. This fusing is called osseointegration and creates a solid, stable foundation for the artificial tooth that attaches to it above, making them highly beneficial in the long run.
They perform much like natural teeth, allowing you to chew and bite down with no worry of slippage. Dental implants also fit in aesthetically with the surrounding teeth, thus making you more confident in sharing your smile.
While these implants are a newer solution for replacing one or more missing teeth, they can also serve as anchors for bridges and dentures, depending upon each patient’s particular needs. For example, if a patient requires a whole-mouth replacement or just the upper or lower row of teeth, implants can secure dentures in place without the need for adhesives.
What are the 3 Components of a Dental Implant?
Dental implants consist of three separate components, which are crucial to their durability and longevity. These include the implant, or post itself, an abutment, and the artificial or prosthetic tooth (crown).
- Implant: a post (usually made of titanium) surgically inserted into the patient’s jawbone and serving as an artificial tooth root.
- Abutment: a supporting structure that abuts the top of the post and serves as a connector for the crown, bridge, or denture.
- Prosthetic Tooth: a crown fastened to the abutment and appearing as a natural tooth.
Once the post is surgically implanted into the jawbone, it takes time for it to fuse with the bone and provide a stable foundation. Once it does, however, the abutment and crown are put in place and appear as a natural tooth.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are a permanent solution for a patient’s missing teeth, which means they can last a lifetime. Yet, while the implant posts themselves are strong, durable, and long-lasting, the other two components are at a higher risk for damage over time. This higher risk is due to the fact that they are exposed and in use daily for chewing and biting down.
While the abutments can break, it is the crown that is most susceptible to damage on a daily basis. These crowns will usually last anywhere between ten and 15 years before needing replacement. Those that are positioned in the front of the mouth may last longer, while any in the back of the mouth responsible for excessive chewing may wear down faster.
Practicing good oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, can extend the lifetime of the crown and, in turn, the abutment. Biannual dental cleanings and exams can help ensure this as well.
Other actions you can take to prolong the life of your entire dental implant, including the crown, include:
- Avoiding chewing or biting down on hard items, such as ice, nuts, hard candy, or fingernails.
- Limiting sugary food and beverages.
- Stopping the use of your teeth as tools, such as when opening a package or bottle.
- Treating bruxism, which is the grinding of teeth and clenching of the jaw usually unconsciously during sleep. (Such activity can lead to fracturing of the implant, abutment, and the crown.)
- Limiting smoking, which can interfere with the longevity of all parts of the implant and put you at a higher risk for oral cancer. (Smoking affects blood flow to the area and can also cause gum disease, both of which may interfere with dental implants.)
- Maintaining good physical health and treating conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which can affect the life of your dental implant.
Keep in mind, however, that certain medications and conditions, along with aging, can have negative impacts on your dental implants. Be sure to discuss these with your dentist and learn what you can do should implant failure occur.
Learn More About Dental Implants by Contacting Linworth Family Dental Today
If you still have questions or concerns over whether these dental implants are the right option for you, speak with the professionals here at Linworth Family Dental. We will discuss all your options and work with you to find the most beneficial solution for your needs presently and for the future. Call us today at 614-665-1463 or submit our online contact form to schedule a helpful consultation.