The Truth About Dental Implants
Whether you’re exploring tooth replacement options for yourself or a loved one, here are 10 amazing facts about implants to pique your interest, answer your questions, and inspire you to reclaim your smile’s fullness, health, and function.
1. Made of titanium, implants are epically strong.
Named after the mighty Titans of Greek mythology and made of stardust, titanium is a lightweight metal that’s stronger than steel and highly resistant to corrosion. First discovered in 1791, titanium now has numerous modern applications in sports, technology, and medicine, from golf clubs to space shuttles to—you guessed it—dental implants.
Often used for human joint replacement (think hip or knee), titanium is considered the most biocompatible metal. Living tissue generally responds well to the presence of titanium, which can withstand significant force and resist corrosion from bodily fluids. These advantages, along with its ability to fuse with bone (see #2), make titanium a top choice for replace missing or worn parts in the human body.
2. Implants actually become a part of your bone structure.
When it comes to dental implants, titanium’s biocompatibility offers another layer of stability and strength: osseointegration. From the Latin words osseus (“bony”) and integrare (“to make whole”), osseointegration describes the direct bond that forms between a titanium implant and living bone. Alongside giving dental implants their renowned stability, this bone-to-implant fusion effectively transfers the force of chewing throughout the jawbone, much like natural teeth.
3. And they keep your facial bones healthy.
Bone loss in the jaw and face is one of the most undesirable side effects of losing teeth, which results when your jawbone doesn’t receive enough chewing force to stay healthy.
Think of it this way: The bones of your body—including your jawbone—are designed to withstand a range of normal mechanical force and stresses. Much like the muscles in your body, the bones respond to these forces by increasing and maintaining their strength and density. One of the best examples of this relationship is performing strength training or weight-bearing exercises, which can help you prevent bone loss and maintain strong bones throughout your lifetime.
Missing teeth dramatically reduce the amount of chewing force the jaws receive and place added pressure on remaining teeth. The lack of force causes the jawbone to “shrink” and resorb into the body, typically resulting in a sunken appearance around the lower third of the face (mouth and cheeks).
Thanks to osseointegration (#2) and their structural similarity to natural teeth, dental implants effectively transfer the force of chewing throughout the jawbone, prevent bone loss, and help preserve the fullness and structure of your mouth and face.
4. A dental implant restoration essentially replaces the roots of your teeth.
Making up two-thirds of your total tooth structure, the roots of your teeth are vitally important to your teeth’s health and stability. Alongside providing your teeth with feeling (nerves) and nourishment (blood supply), the roots of your teeth transfer the force of chewing throughout your jaw (#3) and hold your teeth securely in place.
While other tooth replacement options (bridges and dentures) can replace the visible part of a missing tooth (called the crown), dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that functionally restores both your tooth crown and the root. Though no tooth replacement option can replace living tooth tissue, dental implants offer the closest structural similarity.
5. And it can be used to replace one or several teeth.
For one tooth, your dentist will place a single implant to support a custom crown made of porcelain, metal, or a fusion of the two. For two or more teeth, your dentist will place between two to eight implants to support a custom bridge or overdenture. Whether you’re replacing a single tooth or a full arch of teeth, your prosthetic teeth will be designed to match any remaining natural teeth and complement your facial features.
6. Dental implants look, feel, and function like real teeth.
From titanium “roots” to meticulously crafted prosthetic teeth, dental implants are designed to mirror the shape, shade, function, and strength of your natural teeth in every way. No one will be able to tell you have dental implants, and once you’ve gotten used to your new teeth, you, too, may even forget you had an implant restoration in the first place.
7. And they last for decades.
When it comes to tooth replacement options, dental implants are in it for the long haul. With proper care and maintenance, such as good oral hygiene, routine dental visits, and healthy habits, dental implants can last more than 25 years.
8. Dental implants have a stellar success rate.
For patients who stick to good oral health habits and abstain from tobacco and smoking, dental implants offer a success rate between 90 and 95%.
9. A dental implant restoration can be financed.
Everyone deserves the opportunity to invest in their smile, oral health, and total well-being. You can get help to pay for your dental implant restoration with no interest or low payments. Through CareCredit, a health and wellness credit card, you can pay for out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t covered by your dental or medical insurance. CareCredit offers both short- and long-term financing options to fit your individual situation, so you can make a sustainable financial plan to receive the care you want and need.*
10. A dental implant restoration can be life-changing.
Replacing one or several missing teeth with dental implants can uplift your physiological, mental, and social well-being. Alongside keeping your mouth strong, functional, and healthy, dental implants empower you to freely speak, smile, and eat with confidence and normalcy.
A dental implant restoration may be the solution you’re seeking for long-lasting tooth replacement. To find out if dental implants are right for you, contact us at Monroe Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment today.
*Subject to credit approval and adherence to CareCredit’s terms and conditions.