Dental implants have become the preferred method for tooth replacement for many reasons. These prosthetics are biocompatible and durable, but also can look and feel natural when tooth-colored materials are chosen for dental crowns or bridges. Not only do these replacement teeth look and feel natural, they can be treated like biological teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Dental implants are so durable – especially when compared to other prosthetics like dentures – that patients can eat a full, balanced diet that includes even chewy or tough foods.
What exactly is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small post made from titanium. It somewhat resembles a screw because it has a ridged texture. Dental implants are only a few millimeters wide in diameter. It will ultimately be used to replace the root of a missing tooth once it is embedded into the jawbone by our oral surgeon.
What makes dental implants so durable?
Aside from their metal construction, implants are very durable because of a biological process called osseointegration. This process involves bone fusing to metal components. After the implant is embedded into the jaw, the bone will slowly generate new tissue that will integrate to the titanium post. Like the roots of teeth, bone will hold an implant in place so that it will not move or budge. Osseointegration is what makes dental implants durable enough to support prosthetics like crowns and bridges while also restoring lost oral function.
How long do implants last?
The lifespan of a dental implant can vary from person to person but most folks enjoy their replacement teeth for decades, if not the rest of their lives. Some health conditions that affect the density of the jawbone can threaten the longevity of an implant. The most common threats to an implant’s stability are periodontal (gum) disease, abscesses, and osteoporosis. Many times, these conditions can be avoided and/or prevent with proper oral hygiene and routine dental care.
To learn more about dental implants, contact Austin Oral Surgery to schedule a consultation with one of our oral surgeons!