Millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss in their lifetime. In the past, replacement options have been limited to bridges or removable dentures; however, in the last twenty-five years, dental implants have become an extraordinarily successful alternative. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, allowing you to eat, speak, and smile comfortably.
An implant is made up of a titanium screw which is surgically implanted in the jaw and acts as the root of a missing tooth. Once placed, it fuses to the jawbone. The dental implant supports a custom-made crown that is connected to the implant by a connector piece called an abutment. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or an entire arch. The process can take 6-12 months to complete.
Dental implants can relieve the frustrations associated with traditional removable dentures and partials which can slip or click and restrict the everyday pleasure of eating. Implants can eliminate these issues. While conventional dentures simply rest on the gums, an implant-supported denture attaches to the implant posts and securely holds the denture in place permanently.
Prior to dental implants, bridges were the standard for single tooth replacements. While bridges often look and feel natural, they present several disadvantages. A dental bridge is a false tooth supported and attached to the two healthy adjacent teeth by dental crowns. If one of the supporting crowned teeth develops decay, the entire bridge must be replaced. Dental implants do not require the support of surrounding teeth and will not decay. The average lifespan of a bridge is 10-15 years; however, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
The success of dental implants depends on the overall health of the patient. Some medical conditions, as well as lifestyle choices, could affect the overall success of your dental implant. Patients who have medical conditions that may interfere with the healing process such as diabetes, periodontal disease, or even cigarette smoking may not be good candidates. These patients must evaluate the potential risks of using dental implants. With careful planning and consideration, more than 98 percent of all dental implants are a success.
After implant placement, it is important to continue routine dental care to ensure the life of your implant. With regular checkups, cleanings and good oral hygiene, your implant should last a lifetime.
For more information about implants and to determine if you are a good candidate, call Axiom Dentistry Louisburg at (919) 348-2533 to schedule your consultation today!