For almost 60 years, dental implants have transformed dentistry and the lives of patients. Before their development, options for replacing missing teeth were limited and had multiple drawbacks. Dental implants offer patients the opportunity to restore a natural-looking and comfortable smile, whether they need to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or their entire set of teeth.
So, what are dental implants? They are an artificial tooth root made of titanium that a periodontist or oral surgeon places into the patient's jaw to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, support multiple teeth as a bridge, or support a denture, making it more comfortable and secure.
Dental implants are an ideal option for patients who are generally in good oral health but have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, fracture, or decay. They are more tooth-saving than traditional crowns and bridges because they don't require cutting down healthy teeth or relying on adjacent teeth for support.
Having sufficient bone and good overall health provides the best prognosis for ideal osseointegration, which is the way bone fills in around the implant for strength. Dental implants are intimately connected with the underlying bone and gum tissues in the mouth, so proper fit, good occlusion, and excellent oral hygiene are necessary for long-term success.
Periodontal disease, diabetes, bleeding problems, and smoking can cause difficulty in placement, healing, and longevity of the dental implants. Patients should be upfront with Marielaina Perrone DDS regarding health issues so that the proper steps can be taken to give them the highest chance of success.
There are several reasons to consider dental implants, including cosmetics, stability, maintaining dental health, worry-free living, longevity, and cost. Dental implant restorations are matched to the patient's existing teeth, and they can be used to replace individual teeth or support a removable denture. Dental implants help to maintain bone levels of the jaws and offer stability and worry-free living, with a success rate of over 98% and should, with proper care, last a lifetime.
While dental implants may initially seem expensive, they are only slightly more expensive than a cemented bridge, which generally lasts 10-20 years if diligent oral hygiene is maintained. In contrast, dental implants will not decay and typically can last a lifetime with proper care. They are less expensive in the long run and do not further damage surrounding teeth.
In conclusion, dental implants should always be considered when a missing tooth or teeth are involved. Patients who are informed and educated will make the best choice for their dental care, and dental implants may be the perfect way to give them back what they have lost.