Are you one of an estimated 69 percent of North Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 who have at least one missing tooth? Or among the one in four over the age of 74 who have lost all of their natural teeth?
It is no surprise that dental implants have become an increasingly popular option for permanent tooth replacements. The success rate of them has been reported in scientific literature to be as high as 98 percent. Along with this impressive success rate comes the benefits of implants including: more longevity, a more natural appearance, as well as an ability to restore function to speaking and eating better than any other tooth replacement option.
If you’ve done your research, you may already know a bit about this subject. In this article we hope to add a few interesting and relevant facts to your knowledge base.
- Are proven, safe and can be used for both young and old.
There is actually evidence of ancient and very rudimentary implants which trace back to around 600 AD! Contemporary ones, which have been in use for the past few decades, have been scientifically proven safe and effective.
Although they can only be used for patients with good oral health, for those who are good candidates it matters not whether you’re 17 or 97. Once an individual’s teeth are done growing, a dentist can consider you as a candidate for this treatment at any age.
- Cannot decay or develop cavities
First the great news – titanium implants do not decay like natural teeth. Does this mean that you no longer have to care for that tooth? Not exactly! It’s still important to brush and floss and have professional cleanings done regularly around it. Gum and bone tissue are still susceptible to disease and must be kept clean.
- Made of a material strength stronger than steel.
Titanium and titanium alloy are stronger and lighter than steel, ensuring your implant will last a lifetime. It is the same material used to build space shuttles!
- Acts like the root of a tooth which stimulates the jawbone to regenerate.
Titanium is not only strong, but has a unique property that allows it to fuse to the bone. Once this occurs, it then acts like the root of your tooth. One of the functions of the root of the tooth is to stimulate the bone around it and trigger its regeneration. Other dental options such as bridges and dentures do not have this effect on the jaw bone. That is the reason why the jaw bone under bridges or dentures will shrink over time, causing changes in mouth, impacting other teeth and even impacting the appearance of your face.
- Last a lifetime.
A successful dental implant fuses with the jawbone and will last a lifetime if care is taken for jaw and gum health. How do other treatment options stack up? Crowns and bridges can last anywhere from five to ten years. Dentures often need to be replaced after seven years and may need adjustments several times along the way. Also, even if a bridge, crown or denture lasts longer than expected, as the jawbone shrinks underneath it, it may not be as effective when it comes to eating, drinking or speaking.