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Are Dental Implants As Good As Natural Teeth?

Swedish orthopedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Brånemark is credited for the invention of dental implants in 1952. Since its advent, the dental implant has undergone various technological and structural advancements to become the tooth replacement option it is today.

There are countless reasons why dental implants are the gold standard in dental care. This post talks about everything you need to know about dental implants and why they are as good as your natural teeth.

The Basics

dental implants

Tooth loss can be an extremely devastating situation. Not only do you suffer from discomfort and difficulty in chewing, but you also have a dent in your self-esteem because of the way your smile changes.

While there are plenty of options of tooth replacement available, none of them come close to the superiority that dental implants have.

The basic structure of an implant is as follows:

The part of the implant that is surgically embedded into the jaw bone is called “post”. It is made of either titanium or zirconia. The implant post mimics a tooth root, offering the prosthesis structural integrity and stability.

An abutment is placed on top of the post to serve as a base for the dental crown, bridge, or denture that will fill in space.

The Process

dental implants

The procedure to get an implant is a pretty exhaustive one. Patients with medical issues like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, etc. are not suitable for implants.

Similarly, the dentists advise smokers, people with poor oral hygiene, and those without a strong support system against implants.

If your dentist gives you the green light to go ahead with the procedure, and examine your oral cavity thoroughly.

Digital imaging helps to assess the quality and quantity of the jawbone. Furthermore, any decayed and damaged teeth needs replacement.

After completing the assessment, your dentist will chalk out a custom treatment plan for you.

Dentists give local anesthesia or a sedative to keep the patient pain-free and comfortable. The gum at the site of implant placement cuts and exposes the bone.

An ample amount of space is then drilled into the jaw bone to place the implant post. A little soreness and swelling are normal after the procedure and are taken care of by post-operative instructions and medication advised by your dentist.

As time passes, the jawbone grows around and fuses with the titanium post, resulting in an implant’s long shelf life. The dentist ask the patients to come in regularly to assess the healing of the surgical site and the progress of the fusion.

Once the integration is complete, the dentists place the abutment above the gum line. On the patient’s final visit, the prosthesis manufactured by a dental lab is placed on the abutment, thereby filling in the gap. The dentists advise regular visits to keep an eye on the implant’s progress.

What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implants?

dental implants

We understand that getting a dental implant might sound like a very confusing situation. So listed below are some of the many benefits of dental implants.

Bone sensation

When a dental implant integrates into the bone, it imparts a property called “osseoperception” to the entire restoration. Post-placement of the dental crown/bridge/denture onto the implant, the prosthesis feels and looks like your natural teeth.

This imparts a sense of renewed confidence to the patient and also allows them to make use of their implants as much as they would with their natural teeth.

Bone integration

Because the implant is drilled into the jawbone and placed within it, it integrates with the surrounding bone via osseointegration. This process allows implants to be extremely long-lasting and essentially permanent.

With proper maintenance and care, implants can last a lifetime without the need for replacement. Other tooth replacement options like bridges and dentures need replacement every 5-10 years, making them less cost-effective when compared to dental implants.

Maintaining structural integrity

Tooth root stimulation maintains the jawbone’s structural integrity. Tooth loss results in bone loss over time and distorts the facial structure, making you look older.

The spaces left behind by missing teeth also lead to the tipping of the adjacent teeth into the gaps, leading to misalignment. Within the jawbone, implants serve the same function like tooth roots which help preserve the bone structure, thereby maintaining a patient’s youthful appearance.

Conservative restoration

For the placement of dental bridges, the dentists have to ground down the teeth adjacent to the gap. Similarly, partial dentures also involve some amount of tooth preparation. Dental implants, however, do not require any type of tooth preparation.

This makes them a conservative type of restoration, allowing the other teeth to maintain their structural integrity.

Proper functioning

Dental implants not only resemble natural teeth in appearance, but they also function similarly. Because they remain anchored to the jawbone, implants function like natural teeth.

They allow patients to eat all types of foods and negate the embarrassment that comes with using dentures (falling out while eating or speaking).

Will Dental Implants Rust?

dental implants

A lot of patients have the particular concern of the dental implant rusting post-placement, particularly when it’s a metal. Dental implants are commonly made of titanium which has a remarkable biocompatible track record.

The Titanium Oxide layer on the implant makes it incredibly resistant to rust. Hip and joint replacements also involve the use of titanium. Dentists have used them for decades without minimal issues.

However, dental implants may be resistant to rust, but they aren’t invulnerable to it. Reactions between the metal implant, the jaw bone, and the saliva can generate tiny electric pulses. Over a significant period, they begin to corrode the implant.

This is a very rare occurrence. Only a small fraction of patients have had to replace implants due to rust and corrosion.

If you’re on the hunt for a “dentist near me”, an establishment offering family dentistry is the way to go – that way you and your family are set for life.

For more information on dental implants and whether you’re a suitable candidate, speak to your dentist at River’s Bend Family Dental. Give us a ring at (763) 576-1855 to book an appointment today.