Westminster dentist answers the question, do dental implants last forever?
Dental implants are one of the best technological developments in dentistry treatment. They are considered the best option for replacing missing teeth. However, just as with normal teeth, dental implants must be maintained properly by following the directions of your Westminster dentist.
Most general maintenance involves the cleaning process.There are times when an implant may need to be replaced or reseated if damage occurs for some reason. For example, many people who have implants are also grinders, which is a medical condition known as bruxism, and the implants can wear down over time.
What’s the installation process?
Dental implants are placed in a two-to three-step process.
- First, in the case of an unsalvageable tooth, the old tooth must be extracted.
- Next a titanium post that will serve as the new tooth’s root is implanted into the jawbone. The bone and gum will require some healing time after the root is installed before the replacement tooth is seated. Temporary teeth will usually be attached to the post until the healing is complete.
- Once the jawbone has healed around the titanium root, a process known as osseointegration, the root is topped with a dental crown.
Before the process begins, it is important to address any periodontal disease or other oral health problems. The dentist must also assess the recipient for bone density and implant viability initially. Each tooth must be measured for optimum fit for a stable and balanced bite.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants have many advantages over dentures. While the appearance advantage is obvious, one of the biggest benefits of dental implants is their ability to stop the jawbone loss that eventually occurs with dentures. It’s a case of use it or lose it. When teeth are missing, the jawbone loses the tooth on tooth stimulation it needs to be strong and healthy, and becomes reabsorbed. The result is an aged, sunken-in appearance, as the face loses it’s support structure.
Another advantage is comfort. Dentures rarely fit perfectly, and, as jawbone loss occurs, even a good fit can deteriorate over time. The result is discomfort as the dentures rub and slip.
The third advantage is cost. It’s true that dental implants cost more than dentures in the short-term, but, if you consider the on-going cost of dentures, such as replacement, extra dental appointments, and special adhesives and cleaners, dental implants can be a more cost effective treatment over the long term.
Make your implants last
Dental implants are subject to plaque buildup just like normal teeth, and proper care is essential in maintaining your dental implants. Regular brushing and flossing along with professional cleanings and check-ups are as essential as ever. Resolving destructive habits such as tooth clenching and grinding will also help your implants last longer.
Dental implants are an investment in personal confidence and overall better health, and it is very important to protect your investment with regular dental inspection and professional cleaning.
If you would like to learn more about dental implants, please schedule a free consultation.