Important Facts About Dental Implants
Dental implants are increasingly popular with individuals with one or more missing teeth. However, many people considering them have understandable concerns. Dental implant placement is an invasive surgical procedure and requires a lengthy time commitment. It’s essential to have the facts to make an informed choice regarding whether implants are the right teeth replacement option for you.
Fact #1: Dental Implants Have a Great Track Record
Many patients are surprised to learn that modern dental implants have been around for 50 years. In 1965, the first titanium implant was successfully placed in a human volunteer. Since then, the technique has been perfected in several ways. Millions of people have received dental implants since the 1960s, and the number is increasing yearly. In fact, the success rate of dental implants is in the 90% range, which is extremely impressive.
Fact #2: Titanium is the Best Implant Material
At Alaska Oral Surgery Group, we use titanium implants. Although zirconia implants are also available, titanium is the most popular material due to its strength, durability, and biocompatibility. Although metal allergies can cause problems with some metals, titanium is a non-reactive metal that very few people are allergic to. It is the same metal that has been used for decades in hip and knee replacements and, when used in implants, can withstand the crushing force of chewing.
Fact #3: Dental Implants are Almost as Strong as Natural Teeth
No other type of teeth replacement is as strong as dental implants. Your natural teeth can withstand the incredible biting force that dental bridges and dentures cannot provide. However, titanium implants restore most of that bite force. The implants are light, and strong, and they fuse with your jawbone.
Fact #4: Dental Implants Preserve Facial Structure
Regaining the ability to eat what you like is just the beginning with implants. The osseointegration of the implants with the jawbone prevents deterioration of the jawbone. When teeth are missing, the aveolar bone can lose up to 25% of its mass within a year, leading to a sunken appearance that prematurely ages you. If all or most of your teeth are missing, your cheeks can also develop a gaunt look. However, dental implants help maintain the natural shape of your face.
Fact #5: Dental Implants Mean No More Cavities
Dental implants support crowns or dental prosthetics that look and perform like your natural teeth. These restorations may be made of porcelain or other durable materials that mimic the appearance of tooth enamel. Because they are artificial, you never have to worry about getting cavities or tooth decay. However, you still need to brush and floss daily to prevent gum disease.
Fact #6: You Can Get Dental Implants Even If Your Teeth Have Been Missing for Years
Even if you have been previously told you can’t get implants because you’ve been wearing dentures for years, you should get a second opinion. Recent advancements in implant surgery and the use of bone grafting to build up the jawbone mean many patients who have been turned down in the past can now get dental implants.
Dr. Szutz is an expert in the placement of dental implants and can answer your questions regarding the procedure and whether it is right for you. Call our office at 907-278-5678 to schedule a consultation to learn more about dental implants.
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