Your Dental Implant Questions Answered

Posted on: 28 September 2021

Many Americans have missing teeth, but that doesn't mean you don't want to replace those missing teeth. You may already know about dentures and dental bridges, but there is one more option to consider: dental implants. If you want to know more, keep reading.

How Does a Dental Implant Work?

Dental implants are unique from both dentures and dental bridges because they use the jawbone for support. Dental bridges, like implants, are non-removable, but they use teeth to secure them, which can put extra stress on those teeth. Dentures just sit on top of your gums. If it's a partial denture, it may hook onto other teeth for better support.

For dental implants to work, however, titanium must be used. Titanium is a special metal because it can fuse to bone. The titanium implant goes right into the jawbone, where it will fuse together. The crown is then placed on top to look like a natural tooth.

Can Anyone Get a Dental Implant?

Given the nature of how dental implants work, not everyone is a good candidate. Typically, your dentist will only recommend a dental implant if your jawbone and gums are strong and healthy. Therefore, if you lost a tooth due to sudden trauma, you're probably a good candidate for a dental implant.

On the other hand, an older adult with multiple missing teeth from decay may not immediately be a good candidate. When you don't care for your oral health, the gums can develop gum disease, which leads to gum recession and bone loss. For this reason, you will need to treat gum disease before you can get implants. Depending on how much bone has been lost, you may also need a bone graft first.

How Long Does a Dental Implant Last?

Dental bridges can last a long time, but they usually need to be replaced, especially if decay starts to form along the gum line, under the bridge. Dentures can break, and they need to be adjusted as your jawbone shrinks. Dental implants, however, are supposed to be a permanent solution to missing teeth. However, the crown may need to be replaced.

Your dental implant is supposed to last forever, but there are habits and mistakes that can increase the risk of implant failure. This includes smoking, teeth grinding, and some types of conditions like diabetes.

If you are sick of missing teeth, don't wait anymore. There are many tooth-replacement options, but a dental implant is durable and realistic. If you would like to know more about implants, contact a dentist in your area today.