Dental implants have revolutionized modern restorative dentistry. Implants provide a comprehensive root-to-crown system for replacing missing or compromised teeth. The actual implant is a titanium screw that is inserted into the jaw bone, replicating the missing tooth’s root. This is then used to anchor a number of potential restorations, from single crowns to bridges and even dentures. Implants are increasingly favored among dentists and prosthodontists for a variety of reasons. Here are just a few.
1. Implants are incredibly lifelike
Unlike other types of replacement teeth, implants replicate the entire tooth structure. This allows for a sturdy, long-lasting result. The secret lies in the titanium material used in the implant post. It bonds with the patient’s jaw bone in a process known as osseointegration. Due to this foundation, the accompanying restoration feels as strong and secure as the surrounding natural teeth, allowing you to eat, speak and smile with complete confidence. And whether the restoration is a single crown or full set of dentures, we use materials that mimic the natural luster of teeth and can be matched to any surrounding teeth.
2. Implants last
Because implants are virtually 100% free from bacterial decay, they have a distinct advantage. In fact, with proper care of the gums surrounding implants they could be good for life. Other tooth replacement options like bridges or removable dentures often need to be remade or refurnished over the years because of problems with the teeth on which they are attached to. Implants maintain the best long-term value, making them a great choice for virtually any patient.
3. Implants prevent bone loss
When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone begins to deteriorate in a process known as resorption. Surrounding teeth can start to shift position to fill the gap, resulting in a change in bite pattern. If multiple teeth are lost, a significant change in facial shape can also occur. But implants, by serving as artificial tooth roots, actually combat the loss of bone by creating favorable internal forces within the bone that promotes bone health rather than deterioration that occurs with removable prostheses. No other tooth replacement option available today can provide this benefit.
4. Implants are safe for your natural teeth
Unlike some other restoration options, implants have no impact on any adjacent teeth. Traditional cemented bridges require significant alteration in surrounding teeth in order to be fabricated, and partial dentures sometimes require adjustment of the remaining teeth depending on their anchoring mechanisms. Because implants are anchored directly into the jaw bone, they are completely independent of other healthy teeth in the mouth.
5. Implants are easy to care for
Implants don’t require any specialized care regimen in order to remain in good condition. Your normal oral hygiene routine, including regular brushing and flossing, is enough. They will also never need a filling or root canal since they aren’t susceptible to bacterial decay. However, they can be impacted by gum disease, but proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits can prevent the condition from ever developing, helping ensure your implants last their full lifetime.
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants in Olympia, Washington, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our dentists, Dr. Lawton and Dr. Manchester. Our team at Northwest Center for Prosthodontics is eager to help you achieve the healthy, functional smile you deserve.