As one of the top methods for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are extremely durable. With routine checkups and thorough oral hygiene, dental implants are capable of lasting a lifetime. Before the technology and methodology for placing implants became commonplace, patients’ options for replacing teeth were limited to dental bridges or dentures.
Because an implant closely mimics the function and appearance of natural teeth, patients enjoy eating their favorite foods along maintaining a normal oral hygiene regimen. Dental implants differ from bridges and dentures in the sense that the replacement tooth is directly anchored into a patient’s bone rather than being supported by nearby teeth or gum structure.
When it comes to replacing teeth with bridges and dentures, many patients encounter difficulty keeping their prosthetics clean. Because bridges consist of a series of artificial crowns attached to adjacent teeth, some patients may develop periodontal infection underneath their prosthetics. Furthermore, bridges typically only last a decade. As to dentures, because they rest directly on the gums and their weight affects the shape and size of gum tissue over time, these types of prosthetics may require adjustments to fit a patient’s mouth in the future.
Since the jawbone naturally fuses with the metal titanium rod of an implant, this type of tooth replacement is sturdy and long lasting. While the rod acts as a tooth’s root, an artificial crown is fixed to the rod by an abutment to serve as the visible replacement for a lost tooth. Crowns are made from a variety of resilient materials such as metal and porcelain. Because crowns rest at the gum line, they can be replaced if they are damaged without affecting the titanium rod.
One of the most important factors in a dental implant’s lifespan is a patient’s candidacy for a dental implant. When consulting with your periodontist, a thorough exam will be conducted where your dentist will evaluate your overall health and whether your jawbone and gums are healthy enough to support an implant.
To learn more about replacing missing teeth with dental implants, call our office to schedule an appointment with our periodontist, Dr. Beth Tomlin.