What is a dental implant and its advantages?
Implants have been used in stomatology for decades now. In brief, they are a sort of “screws” inserted into your jawbone. They are made from a high quality titanium composite and serve as a substitute of a single missing tooth, several teeth or a complete set of teeth.
Basically, an implant is a substitute for a tooth root. It is inserted into the bone in a small operation done under local anaesthesis, which is virtually painless. For it to be successful, your bone tissue needs to be high, wide and dense enough and that’s pretty much the only condition. If this is not the case, the so called bone augmentation, which leads to lenghtening or widening your bone, needs to be performed. Usually, an artificial bone is used, but there are extreme cases, when your own bone is transplanted, after it’s taken from your jawbone, chin or pelvis. The healing period is approx. 3 months (lower jawbone) to 6 months (upper jawbone), a time needed for the bone to grow around the implant and into it. Only a small part of the implant actually sticks out into your oral cavity and a crown, bridge or prosthesis is put on top of it.
What are the advantages?
In many ways, implants are perfectly capable of substituting a natural tooth both in the way they look and the way they work. Since they are firmly embedded in your bone, they feel like natural teeth and limit speech impediments such as mumbling, smelching and slurred speech. Also, once the implant is topped up with a dental replacement, it looks very natural. After the treatment is done, you no longer have to worry about what you eat. You can chew nuts, apples and enjoy other dishes, which might have been a problem previously. Other advantages include:
– Slower bone loss: if a tooth is missing and as time passes, you start losing the bone tissue that surrounds it. A dental implant stimulates the bone and slows down its decline.
- Higher self esteem: let’s be honest, this is a huge boost. With an implant, you’re more self-assured and no longer have to fear your prosthesis may come lose while you’re talking to someone. The same applies to enjoying a dish.
- Implants last long and when taken care of properly, may last a lifetime.
- Unlike conventional fixed bridges, there’s no need to grind your surrounding teeth, that are otherwise perfectly healthy.
Quality of the implants is crucial, but the implantologist is even more important. At Doctor Martin, you can completely rely on Dr. Martin Kafka, who has hundreds of successful operations under his belt.
If you would like to know more about dental implants and whether they are right for you, go ahead and book a complimentary session with one our Dental Care Consultants today.
What effects the durability of an implant?
Implants: how long can they last and what effects their durability
There are several factors determining how long an implant will last. First of all, whether it lasts forever depends on how well the implant and the prothetic part (the tooth substitute itself, that you can see – the crown, bridge or prosthesis) has been inserted. However, proper oral hygiene is important too. If all conditions are fulfilled, implants usually last longer than natural teeth.
Oral hygiene always comes first
For your implant to last as long as possible, we recommend to visit your dentist/dental hygienist at least twice a year. Your teeth and oral cavity will be cleaned, which is important, because insufficient hygiene is one of the major causes of implant loss. Bacteria gather around the implant once you neglect your oral hygiene and may cause inflammation. If left untreated, it may cause an illness called periimplantitis, which causes bone loss around the implant, leads to it losing firmness and may go as far as the implant being detached from the bone bed. Once you’ve had your implant inserted successfully, it is therefore important that you arrange regular check-ups with your dentist to help you identify and effectively cure any starting inflammation.
If you’re a smoker, you may want to think twice, as smoking too much may lead to you losing the implant. Inhaling the smoke often leads to gum diseases and healthy gums are very important for the implant and how long it lasts. It doesn’t mean you can’t have an implant, but it may make the procedure and the healing process more complicated.
So how long is it realistically going to last?
Several studies have shown that even after ten years, most implants are still as good as new. If they are looked after properly and if you have a healthy lifestyle, they can easily last a lifetime. However, proper implantation and regular check-ups are just as important.