Research shows that around 69% of adults between the ages of 35 to 44 have suffered the loss of at least one of their natural teeth and more than 30 million Americans have at least one jaw that is missing all of their biological teeth.
That is why the number of people opting for dental implant procedures has exploded — increasing by 500,000 year over year. Part of the reason for this popularity includes the fact that a dental implant has a high probability of success — about 95% — making it a smart, cost-effective replacement for the loss of a natural tooth.
While maintaining — and retaining — your natural teeth is always the best option, dental implants offer a host of benefits that make them a sensible choice for patients wanting to replace a damaged, diseased, or lost tooth.
This article will focus on comparing the function of dental implants with natural teeth and examining any differences in function between the two.
A dental implant consists of a prosthetic tooth mounted on a titanium screw that is placed into the bone of your jaw in the area of tooth loss. The titanium post is a substitute for your lost tooth’s natural root. It is topped with an abutment — a connector that allows the dentist to place a crown or replacement tooth — on top of it.
Dental implants provide a natural-looking, long-lasting restoration for areas of tooth loss. They have the added benefit of not slipping, clicking, or moving when you eat, talk, or laugh as with some other restorative processes.
Here are three important ways that dental implants act as the perfect companion to your remaining natural teeth.
A properly fitted dental implant can last for twenty years or longer, making them a cost-effective long-term choice for restoring a missing tooth. Natural teeth are meant to last your lifetime, but many people experience the loss of at least one tooth throughout their lifespan due to one of the following:
In the past, the loss of a tooth often involved being fitted with a bridge or other dental appliance to fill in the gap and add functionality. However, a dental bridge may need to be replaced as soon as five years after placement and it also requires reducing nearby teeth, which can predispose them to issues down the line.
Dental implants are considered a permanent solution to tooth loss, so by nature they are as strong as your natural teeth. Implants allow wearers to maintain proper chewing function — an activity that exerts a natural force on the jawbone that preserves jaw structure by protecting it from the atrophy caused by bone loss.
When implants are placed, a titanium screw is inserted into the jawbone and the dentist places a prosthetic tooth or crown to the part of the screw emerging from the gumline. Over time, the titanium screw will fuse naturally with the bone of your jaw, a process known as osseointegration. Titanium and its alloys are the materials of choice for dental implants due to their high strength and their ability to osseointegrate with the human body. Titanium screws have a ten-year success rate as high as 97% when used in dental implants.
Just like your natural teeth, your dental implants need proper hygiene to be maintained. Although they can not decay like natural teeth, they can break, chip, or even loosen if they are not cared for properly.
In particular, if you suffer from bruxism — that is, grinding of your teeth at night or during the daytime — you should be fitted with a night guard to minimize the impact of grinding on your implants. Also, bad habits such as chewing ice or using your teeth to open bottle lids or tear open packages can lead to a chipped or broken dental implant.
Best of all, dental implants can be perfectly matched to the shape, size, and color of your existing natural teeth. Each crown is made from porcelain, a material that perfectly matches the texture and translucency of your natural teeth. Your dentist will select a shade of porcelain from a card placed next to your natural teeth to ensure a perfect match.
You will need to continue good hygiene with your implant because, just like your natural teeth, your porcelain crown can get stained with coffee, berries, wine, and other foods and liquids.
Considering Dental Implants? Choose Renovo Endodontics for a Perfect Match
At Renovo Endodontics, we understand that losing a permanent tooth can be an upsetting experience — and it can even make performing daily activities like eating and talking more difficult.
That’s why we offer expert placement of dental implants for our patients. In a procedure that typically takes less than 30 minutes in the office, you can have a beautiful, natural-looking implant restoration that will keep you smiling for years to come.