And Other Questions About Restorative Dentistry
Any sort of treatment that you get for your teeth is an investment. That’s especially true if you’re trying to replace broken or missing teeth. If you decide to pay more to replace a tooth, you can expect that it will last longer, perform better, and look incredibly natural. So you could say that dental implants are among the most intelligent investments that you can make for your smile, if you’re a candidate for them, that is.
Basically, a dental implant is a manufactured tooth that’s surgically anchored to the bone of your jaw. This makes it easy to maintain, deceivingly natural in appearance, and of course, extremely strong. How strong, you ask? Well, here’s how it matches up against an actual tooth.
Dental implants vs. natural teeth—what’s stronger?
The short answer is that yes, in some ways, a dental implant is stronger than your actual teeth. But that doesn’t make them indestructible. Basically, these pseudo-teeth are made from titanium—one of the strongest materials available. But aside from being made from a super-durable metal, there are a few other reasons why you might say that a dental implant is stronger than natural teeth:
- They’re not prone to tooth decay, cavities, or other forms of tooth disease.
- They’re almost impervious to breakage, so you can’t destroy them by chewing.
- They’re not sensitive to chemicals in food, so they won’t stain or degrade regardless of what you eat or drink.
Sure, our natural teeth are pretty strong, and they can last a lifetime with the right care and caution. But when it comes right down to it, the material that dental implants use is far less prone to damage and deterioration. So technically, they are stronger than natural teeth.
Do dental implants last a lifetime?
With the right care and cleaning, dental implants can last you a lifetime, even if you visit your dentist sparingly. But have all dental implants throughout the years been 100% complication free? Of course not.
There have been reports of dental implant failure, which calls for the surgical removal of all of the parts of the implant. But the occurrence of such problems is few and far between. So as long as you visit a reputable doctor and follow all their instructions, the success rate is extremely high.
Why are dental implants considered better than other options?
Dentures, bridges, crowns—all of these have been widely used throughout the years to restore the function and appearance of a patient’s teeth. But these days, dental implants are easily phasing them out and making them far less attractive to people who might need restorative dentistry services. Why?
For starters, these choices might not be as complete as dental implants. Without a hold on the jawbone, choices like dentures and bridges can cause the bone to deteriorate and change the shape of your face. Yikes. What’s more, they’re not made of a material that’s strong enough to last a lifetime.
So if you do opt for any of these other options, you should know that you will have to have them replaced or repaired somewhere down the line. On top of that, there’s the issue of aesthetics. Not all of these replacement teeth can be designed to look as natural as your real teeth, so onlookers will likely notice that you’re sporting a fake tooth or two.
Finally, it’s also worth mentioning that implants stay in place and can be cared for like actual teeth. That is impressive when you consider dentures pop out of your mouth and require unique maintenance practices.
How are dental implants installed?
Interested in getting your teeth replaced with implants? Keep in mind that implants will quite literally be drilled into your jawbone and that the surgical process may take some time, depending on how many teeth you want replaced. Now, if you’re ready to face that, then here’s what you can expect on surgery day:
- Depending on your unique situation, your doctor might require local anesthesia or complete sedation.
- An implant—which resembles a reinforced screw—will be drilled into your jawbone. This will be allowed to heal for up to six months. The purpose of the waiting period is to allow the implant to fuse with your bone so that it is able to withstand the pressure of use.
- No one wants to be walking around with an exposed surgical site, even if it’s on their gums, so your doctor will provide you with a temporary tooth replacement while you wait for the implant to fuse.
- Once the implant and the bone are fused, your doctor might attach an extension where the crown itself will screw into.
- If your dentist recommends that you use implants with an existing extension, the second step will not be necessary.
- When your implants are finally ready, your doctor will then screw in the crown. Designed to look like your real teeth, the crown itself is made from ceramic and screws in place on the implant.
Who needs dental implants?
Could you benefit from dental implants? That depends. Overall, anyone who might need a tooth replacement could benefit from a dental implant. It all depends on what your budget allows.
So are you ready to make the biggest dental investment of your lifetime? Consult dentist Gary Alhadef, DDS, today and discover how he can brighten your smile with a revolutionary implant designed just for you.