Dental implants aren’t just a fad. They’re now considered to be the highest standard of care when it comes to helping people replace their missing teeth. And while dental implants are the most costly dental reconstruction treatment, investing in implants can – over the long run – be very cost effective.
They Function Like Natural Teeth
The design of dental implants resembles that of natural tooth roots. Each one sets into the jawbone alongside where a real tooth would. If you are only replacing one or two teeth with implants (and a crown) most people will not be able to tell the difference.
Implants “Last for Life”
As time has gone on, implant methods and materials have drastically improved. So much so that they have become the most “predictable” of all dental treatments. In fact, approximately 98% of implants will last for the rest of a person’s life.
This is possible due to the bio compatibility of implants with your bone. Made of titanium, a metal frequently used in joint replacement, the implant triggers new bone growth within the jaw so that the implant becomes permanently fused in place. We call this process “osseointegration.” Once the implant has integrated, unless it becomes infected, it will almost never come out.
Non-Invasive to Other Teeth
Other types of tooth replacement can cause irreversible damage to neighboring healthy teeth. For instance, a traditional bridge will replace a missing tooth, but you have to drill down and reshape the neighboring teeth to bond the bridge in place. Even a partial with clasps can sometimes wear into the enamel on your other teeth.
But implants strengthen your smile by maintaining healthy bone levels between it and the other teeth. This prevents your teeth from drifting out of place or losing support — problems both extremely common when you have lost one or more teeth.
Most importantly, implants do not rely on the other teeth to hold their restoration in place. And dental implants function as if it was a natural tooth.
Easier Than Having a Tooth Pulled
Placing an implant involves surgery. While this sounds scary, it’s very straightforward. Most patients say that getting their implant installed is more comfortable than having a tooth pulled.
Now that 3D CT/cone beam imaging is available, many dentists provide computer guided implant surgery, further reducing the complexity of the treatment. This step can prevent the need for extra surgeries such as a bone graft or sinus lift. In fact, if you weren’t a candidate for implants several years ago, there’s a good chance that you are now.
Support Any Number of Restorations
An implant is capable of supporting far more weight than a natural tooth is. Knowing this, we can use fewer implants to replace more teeth. For instance, as few as four implants can anchor a retained hybrid denture that never comes out. Or, use two implants for a three-to-four tooth bridge. Even more common is replacing a single tooth with an individual implant and porcelain crown.
A Smart Investment
Because of how long dental implants can last, they are often a more cost-effective investment than other types of dental treatments. When a traditional bridge would need to be replaced every 7-10 years, the teeth underneath it could possibly only withstand one or two re-treatments. After that, they might need to be pulled and then replaced with a partial denture.
Implants essentially become a part of your body. Even though their crown or bridge might wear down a decade later, it can be replaced without having to every worry about the health of your implant underneath it.
Easy to Care For and Live With
Your new implants will have a minimal impact on your daily routine. They’re just as easy to brush and floss as your natural teeth. Keeping them clean will help you prevent getting an infection that could cause implant loss.
Plus, their natural design means it’s easier to talk and chew with implants than, say, a large denture. You’ll have more space inside of your mouth to speak freely and enjoy the taste of your meals.
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