Although modern dental implants are only fifty years old, we’ve been replacing our teeth for a long time. Around 1931, an archaeologist in Honduras discovered the mandible of a Mayan woman from 600 years ago that had a tooth-shaped seashell inserted into the bone. And one woman may have had an iron bar placed in her tooth in France 2300 years ago. Needless to say, we’ve come a long way. Just a year ago, dental implant surgery was performed on by a robot. Despite having a 98 percent success rate and many data points supporting the viability of dental implants, many patients wonder if the procedure is right for them. If you’ve recently lost teeth and have been wondering the same question, this blog is for you.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a prosthetic used to replace missing teeth that come in two types, endosteal (in the bone), and subperiosteal (under the gums). The most common type of dental implant is endosteal, which consist of two main components, the titanium implant, and the ceramic crown. First, the titanium implant is surgically inserted into the jaw bone and allowed to heal. Through a process known as osseointegration, jaw bone and tissue fuse with the titanium, forming a bond that resembles a natural tooth root. This process of integration is what makes dental implants so successful. When the implant has bonded with the jaw, the custom-crafted, ceramic crown is attached to the implant.
Subperiosteal implants used to be more common before endosteal implants were developed, but now they have largely fallen out of use.
Why Should You Consider Dental Implants?
If you want to replace missing teeth, dental implants are the best possible solution. One of the biggest difficulties of losing teeth is depreciating bone mass in the jaw. When stimulation to the jaw ceases in a certain spot, it stops regenerating tissue, and bone mass eventually decreases, making cheeks appear sunken. Because dental implants mimic the functionality of a natural tooth root, they can provide the stimulation needed to maintain bone mass.
Another reason to consider dental implants is dental implant wear. Unlike most items you can buy, dental implants can last a lifetime if cared for properly — and they’re easy to care for. Simply brushing, flossing, and getting regularly scheduled checkups can keep your implants healthy. If you’re currently a denture wearer, consider these reasons to upgrade to implants.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Most people are good candidates for dental implants. If you’re an adult in good general health who has lost or is losing one or more teeth, you’re probably a good candidate.
There are some factors that can decrease the effectiveness of dental implants that should be taken into consideration. Patients with advanced gum disease should seek treatment before a dental implant procedure, as it can make it difficult for the titanium implant to bond with the jaw bone. Smoking can also make it more difficult for the body to heal properly, and can even increase your chances of gum disease.
The best way to tell if you’re a good candidate for dental implants is to schedule a consultation. Then we can evaluate your oral health history and say whether you are a good candidate.
Do you want to learn whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants in Scripps Ranch? Please call (858) 271-1010 or contact us online today for an appointment with implant dentist Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts.