Many people think that dental implants are a new type of dental treatment. Actually, they have been around for decades. And in those decades, they have proven to be the best, longest-lasting, most reliable way to replace missing teeth!
If you are missing just one tooth or all of your teeth, you should consider dental implants.
The biggest reason to choose dental implants is that they are the very best investment you can make in your mouth. A tooth that is replaced with a dental implant has a better success rate than the other common tooth replacement options, such as a cemented bridge or a removable partial denture (or plate).
By success rate, we mean that the dental implant is still healthy, functions correctly, requires no dental treatment, and causes no damage to the nearby teeth. After ten years, dental implants have a success rate of over 90%. The success rate of a bridge glued onto the two neighboring teeth is only 50% after ten years. That is a big difference!
Because dental implants have such a high success rate, they are the best investment you can make as far as dental treatment goes. You will benefit from the money you invest in dental implants for decades. Other treatment options often need replacement in the future or cause damage to other teeth, which causes those teeth to require dental treatment. While the immediate cost of a different option may be less, the cost over your lifetime is much higher.
Cavities are the most common reason teeth need extraction. When a cavity destroys a significant portion of the tooth, it becomes impossible to save it. Many people are frustrated by dental treatment if they are prone to getting cavities. Teeth often go through a progression of needing a filling, then a larger filling, then a crown, then a root canal, and a new crown, etc . . . because they continue to get cavities.
Dental implants, made of titanium, cannot get cavities! The titanium root and porcelain crown covering the outer part of the implant are impervious to the bacteria that cause cavities. This means a dental implant will have a longer lifespan than fillings, crowns, and root canals in a cavity-prone person.
If you have a high risk for cavities and have a tooth with a questionable prognosis, ask your dentist about the option of a dental implant. As we discussed in #1 above, it is the best long-term investment you can make in your mouth.
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement that come out of your gums. The implant body replaces your tooth’s root, and it allows the visible portion of the replacement tooth to emerge out of the gums, just like a natural tooth.
Other treatment options must rest on or attach to neighboring teeth. It is impossible to have a natural-looking fake tooth that is connected to the others beside it. With glued-in bridges, a single piece of porcelain connects a minimum of three teeth. While these can look relatively cosmetic, they will never look as natural as a free-standing tooth with no connection to the others. In a slightly different way, a removable partial replaces a missing tooth with a plastic tooth set into a pink acrylic “gum” material. The partial stays in your mouth by wrapping around (clasping onto) other teeth.
This is one of the biggest benefits of dental implants!
A dental implant is freestanding. It causes no harm to adjacent teeth at all. The other tooth replacement options we mentioned (cemented bridges and removable partials) both cause damage to and put stress on the neighboring teeth. And because these teeth are vital in supporting the fake tooth, when they suffer problems, the entire prosthesis suffers.
If a tooth supporting a bridge gets a cavity, the whole bridge must be replaced. If one of the teeth supporting a removable partial needs a crown or gets loose, the partial has to be remade from scratch.
By choosing a dental implant, you are also extending the lifespan of your other teeth. You are also reducing the need for dental work on your other teeth.
We mentioned in #2 that dental implants cannot get cavities. That does not mean that they are completely invincible. Dental implants can get gum disease, and this is the number one reason implants fail over time.
Controlling gum disease is all about controlling plaque buildup. With a dental implant, the cleaning process is virtually the same as cleaning a natural tooth. There are no connections between teeth preventing normal flossing. There are no removable parts that have to be cleaned overnight.
If you have a dental implant, you basically brush, floss and use mouthwash in the same way you would if you had all natural teeth.
Call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location today to schedule a consultation with our implant dentists! We will get you on the path to the smartest dental investment of your life.