The Dental Implant Procedure
Caring for Dental Implants
The Durability of Dental Implants
Another advantage of dental implants is their durability. If properly cared for, a dental implant lasts for many, many years. In fact, implants often last for the lifetime of the patient. This is particularly true for the implant itself, which is the rod that is inserted into the jawbone of the patient. Once that rod is inserted, it’s there to stay. So even if the crown on top of the implant has to be replaced at some point in the future, the implant itself should remain there for the lifetime of the patient in most circumstances.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Dental Implant?
If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants are often an excellent method to replace those teeth. Although the process takes several months to complete, many patients feel that the end result is well worth the effort since implants are not only quite durable and long-lasting, but can be cared for just the same as the patient’s regular teeth, and there are no dietary restrictions for implants. As long as you have an adequate amount of jawbone present to accommodate the implant, you are most likely a good candidate for this remarkable dental technology.
But even for people without adequate jawbone density, it’s still possible to enjoy the benefits of dental implants. Oral surgeons can do a bone graft prior to the implant procedure, which increases the strength of the bone and makes it adequate to hold the implant.
Dental Implants and Other Options for Replacing Missing Teeth
If you are missing several teeth, or if you have to have some or all of your teeth extracted for whatever reason, there are typically three options available to replace your missing teeth:
- Dentures or partial dentures – Removable dentures (either complete sets or partial sets) are often a more economical method to replace missing teeth than implants. But these more traditional appliances have their drawbacks. Because dentures are removable, that means that they are also more likely to move around inside your mouth, often impacting the way you speak and what types of food you can eat. Removable dentures also require special care and need to be soaked in water or denture cleaning liquid when they’re not in use.
- Fixed dental bridge – Some patients opt for a fixed (non-removable) dental bridge to replace a few missing teeth. These appliances can work well, but only if there is sufficient surrounding natural teeth to provide support for the appliance.
- Dental implants – Considering the alternatives, you can understand why so many people choose dental implants to replace missing teeth. As we mentioned before, it’s also possible to use dental implants to anchor other appliances, such as the dentures, partials and bridges mentioned above. This helps to hold those appliances inside the patient’s mouth, preventing them from slipping or moving around at all. While this is definitely an advantage, many patients believe that simply replacing their missing teeth with implants is preferable, for all the reasons discussed above.
The truth about dental implants is simple: they can be an excellent choice for replacing missing teeth! In fact, getting a new dental implant is very much like getting a brand new natural tooth. So if you need to replace a single tooth, or a whole mouthful of teeth, dental implants can not only improve your oral health but improve the overall quality of your life in so many ways. Whether you live in Austin, Texas, or any other part of the country, you should be able to find several dental professionals who offer dental implants as one of their services. To find out more about dental implants, and whether or not they are the right choice for you, contact your dentist today!