After decades and many millions placed globally, Dental Implants are well researched, understood and have a significant amount of real life experience across general dentistry.
But what are they? How do they work?
And why do they make such a difference to those grappling with tooth loss? Let’s explore!
In simple terms, dental implants replace the root of a missing tooth. Think of them as artificial tooth roots.
The implant itself is where the magic happen: effectively it’s a small titanium screw. This is fitted into the jawbone by your Implant Dentist. And over time, it bonds with your natural bone to form a strong, sturdy base.
Because Titanium is “biocompatible”, it means your body accepts it as part of its own.
Next comes the abutment.
It’s a bit like a linking piece. Once the implant has fused with the jawbone, the abutment is attached to the top of the implant. It’s here to hold your new tooth in place.
And the crown? That’s the part of the dental implant you’ll see in your mouth. Shaped and coloured to match your other teeth, it’s what makes your smile complete again
Porcelain Crowns are durable, strong, and best of all, it’s as natural-looking as your own teeth.
Three simple steps: the implant, the abutment, and the crown. The result? A full, confident smile.
Improved Appearance: They replicate your natural teeth, creating a visually pleasing and authentic solution to tooth loss. Looking good often equals feeling good.
Clear Speech: No more struggling with unclear pronunciation due to missing teeth or loose dentures. Implants bring lucidity back to your speech.
Eat what you want. This one in particular is a huge motivator for patients. Imagine being able to enjoy your favourite foods without hesitation. Apples? Steak? Implants give the ability to bite and chew, whereas dentures do not.
Minimises Bone Loss: Dental implants fuse with and stimulate the jaw bone. Over time, this acts to prevent long-term bone loss that is common with missing teeth.
Preserves Facial Structure: By maintaining the jawbone, implants help keep the natural shape of your face and jawline, preserving your overall appearance.
It all sounds very rosy at this point I must admit. Implants are fantastic, but they are only fantastic when paired with the right environment.
Let’s delve into this a bit further.
Firstly, good overall health is an important consideration. Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure, however minor it may seem.
It’s important to discuss any medical conditions with your Implant Dentist so they can give you correct and professional advice.
Chronic health issues, such as diabetes or heart disease, or those who’ve had radiation therapy in the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis.
Persistent gum disease could put successful implantation at risk. So, healthy gums are quite essential too. Fear not: gum disease can typically be stabilised and with the right oral health habits, implants can be placed successfully.
Adequate bone in the jaw is the third prerequisite. The bone acts as a solid foundation for the implant. Without sufficient bone quantity and density, implant stability could be compromised.
If bone volume is low, options like bone grafts could be explored. This is where synthetic bone material is placed, to “grow” bone in the site of the missing teeth.
Smokers, take note. Smoking can impede healing post-surgery and might lower the success rate of implants. Specific advice on this will be provided by your Implant Dentist.
The journey to dental implants is one paved with personalised professional advice.
Always consult your dentist to discuss if implants are the right choice for you.
In essence, candidates for dental implants need a blend of the right physical conditions and a committed mindset to ensure good long term outcomes with implants.
In the vast majority of cases implants remain healthy and stable for a long time. Research papers point to an industry average 96% success rate over a ten year period.
Put another way: 19 in 20 people have their implants for a minimum of 10 years and often much longer.
Dental implants are incredibly effective, proven, and widely adopted. Many millions have been placed. Scientific knowledge in 2023 has advanced, only serving to increase the longevity of implants in most patients.
But it’s not all hunky dory. Without wanting to be the bearer of bad news, there’s never anything like a 100% guarantee in medicine. Implant failure is a real thing. It’s not common, but it does happen.
This can be a result of any number of things. Improper placement, health conditions, infections and gum disease can all play a role.
With all things being equal, the biggest factor is diet and oral hygiene habits.
Is brushing twice a day, flossing, and using a mouthwash part of your daily routine?
If yes, then you’re on the right track. Maintaining healthy gums and oral hygiene contributes significantly to the longevity of dental implants.
It’s strongly advised to have a dental hygiene appointment every six months post-implant. So there’s a maintenance aspect to dental implants as well.
Overall, dental implants represent a pioneering leap in dentistry, offering just about the best way to replace a missing tooth. They lead to a more natural-looking and efficient replacement for missing teeth.
And dental implants are durable, although dependent on individual health they frequently last over 10 years.
To ascertain your suitability for dental implants, consider factors such as overall health, gum health, and bone availability. Understand that while implants have a high success rate, there is no absolute guarantee with any medical procedure.
The journey to dental implants is personalised and we, at Danbury Dental Care, are here to provide the professional advice and care you need.
Are you ready to transform your smile and boost your confidence? Contact us today to discuss if dental implants could be the game-changing solution you’ve been waiting for.
Dr Kaly Gengeswaran