If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants offer the comfort and security of a permanent replacement that looks and functions just like your natural teeth. Dental implants also help preserve the tooth-supporting bone in your jaw, which often recedes after a tooth is lost.
How does a dental implant work?
A dental implant most often takes the form of a screw-shaped titanium post that replaces the root-part of a missing tooth. The surgical procedure used to place an implant only requires local anesthesia. The implant is then left alone for 3-4 months as it fuses to the bone surrounding it.
After the implant is fully integrated, it is loaded with a custom-made crown to match your existing natural teeth. Implants have a documented success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option. It is also the most conservative form of replacing missing tooth/teeth without causing any injury to the adjacent teeth.
Implant Care and Maintenance
There are only two ways an implant can lose attachment to the bone and fail once it has successfully fused: poor oral hygiene or excessive biting forces. Poor oral hygiene and/or a lack of regular cleanings can lead to a destructive bacterial infection called peri-implantitis. Flossing and brushing your teeth on a daily basis, along with regular professional cleanings, can prevent this.
Excessive biting forces can come from either a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, or an insufficient number of implants to handle the forces generated by your bite. You should receive the correct number of implants so this does not happen. And if you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth, a nightguard will be recommended to protect your implants. After all, implants are a long-term investment in your smile, your health and your well-being, so it’s best to protect your investment.