Dental implants are used to replace teeth that are missing or unable to be saved. They are considered to be the highest quality tooth replacement option available in dentistry because of their many benefits.
If you are in need of one or more replacement teeth, you may be considering dental implants. As you weigh the pros and cons, an important factor is how long dental implants last. Here’s what you can expect in terms of the lifespan of a dental implant.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is surgically placed in the bone of your jaw. It replaces the natural root of the tooth that was previously in the socket. The implant provides support for a dental prosthetic, such as a crown to replace a single tooth, a bridge to replace a few teeth, or dentures to replace most or all of the teeth.
Dental Implants Can Last a Lifetime
There is a significant cost associated with dental implants that can give some people pause before they decide whether or not to choose this option. But when you invest in dental implants, you are investing in a dental prosthetic that will most likely last for the rest of your life.
Why Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are made of titanium, a biocompatible material that is capable of fusing with the jaw bone through a process called osseointegration. Implants have ridges or threads like a screw that the bone tissue can affix to, preventing it from slipping out of place. Biocompatible metals like titanium do not react to moisture or bodily fluids, which means they won’t rust or break down inside the mouth. Once the implant fuses with the bone, the bond can last a lifetime.
Additional Benefits of Dental Implants
The longevity of dental implants is just one of the many benefits of this tooth replacement technology. Other benefits include:
- Bone preservation. The presence of a dental implant in place of the missing tooth root prevents the jaw bone from weakening and resorbing (dissolving). The jaw stays strong and upholds its structure.
- Natural function. A dental implant provides the bite and chewing strength of a natural tooth, making it the most naturally functioning dental prosthetic available.
- Natural appearance. Dental implants are anchored in the jaw in a similar way to your natural teeth, giving them a natural appearance.
- Secure anchor for prosthetics. Implant supported dentures stay in place more securely than traditional dentures that rely on suction and adhesives. They allow you to chew and talk without worrying that your dentures will slip out of place.
- Prevents damage to existing teeth. Traditional bridges and partial dentures that use the existing teeth for support are susceptible to damage over time as they bear the brunt of the chewing force.
Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?
Missing or severely damaged teeth that are beyond saving should be replaced for optimal dental health. Traditional bridges and dentures are often a less expensive option for tooth replacement, but the quality is significantly lower.
Bridges are supported by crowns placed over the healthy teeth on each side of the gap. The force of chewing eventually takes its toll on the support teeth, causing damage that often results in the need to replace those teeth as well. The pontics, the artificial teeth suspended between the crowns, sit atop the gums and the jaw bone beneath them still weakens and deteriorates.
Traditional dentures attach to the gums via suction and adhesives. They are prone to slipping out of place when you eat and talk, which can pinch and irritate the gum tissue. Traditional dentures fail to support the jaw bone, which will weaken and deteriorate over time.
Dental implants solve all of the problems associated with traditional bridges and dentures, making them the best tooth replacement option in most cases.
Barkoff Dental Provides Dental Implants
If you’re interested in dental implants, Barkoff Dental can perform an evaluation to determine whether or not they are the right tooth replacement option for you. Many patients are eligible for dental implants right away, while others may need some preparation. We believe in the benefits that dental implants provide for your lifelong dental health.