Have you lost one or more teeth due to injury, disease or decay? Then you are likely an ideal candidate for dental implants, which look and function exactly like natural teeth!

A dental implant is a metal (typically titanium) cylinder that is surgically implanted into the patient’s jawbone by a dentist. The cylinder replaces the former tooth’s root, thus creating a secure point of attachment for a crown, bridge or denture. Once the jawbone surrounding the implant has fully healed, the dentist can safely affix the artificial replacement tooth or teeth.

American dentists currently perform over three million dental implant procedures every year. That is because patients understand the many benefits of dental implants for replacing missing teeth – and wish to have them all for themselves!

Dental Implants Are Just Like Natural Teeth

A dental implant is tightly fused to the patient’s existing jawbone. The only visible part of the restoration looks precisely like a natural tooth or teeth. You will chew and speak just as you would if you had kept all of your natural teeth. And when you smile, no one would be able to guess that you had a tooth replacement!

Dental Implants Can Last for Decades, or Even a Lifetime

With proper oral hygiene and regular dental care, the implanted cylinder can last up to three decades. An implant crown restoration – i.e. the replacement tooth – can last for half as long. This is all to say that a dental implant is not technically permanent. But for many patients, a dental implant can indeed last a lifetime.

Dental Implants Can Prevent Bone Loss

When a tooth has fallen out or been extracted, the underlying jawbone begins a process called resorption. A resorbing jawbone loses density as it becomes more porous and fragile, thus increasing the patient’s risk of a fracture and experiencing additional tooth loss.

A dental implant can prevent the problem of resorption. Once the titanium cylinder has fused with the surrounding jawbone, osseointegration has taken place. The osseointegrated implant and its attached prosthesis will transfer the same amounts of force and pressure to the jawbone that a natural tooth would have. In essence, that instructs the jawbone to completely forgo resorption and conserve its existing density.

Dental Implants Can Prevent Premature Aging

When missing teeth result in bone loss, the lower third of the face begins to sag and collapse as a result. That typically causes thinning lips, a more pronounced chin, and wrinkles to form around the mouth, which has the overall effect of making the face appear significantly older than it actually is. In effect, dental implants truly live up to their designation as a form of cosmetic surgery. They can keep a patient’s appearance looking noticeably younger!

Dental Implants Stabilize Adjacent Teeth

A dental implant’s ability to preserve jawbone density benefits surrounding natural teeth as well. They remain rooted in a stronger foundation, which stabilizes the patient’s bite, reduces excessive strain on their jaw, and helps to prevent future tooth loss. In short, a dental implant may not merely restore your ability to chew. It can improve it!

Dental Implants Can Help Prevent Gum Disease

When a tooth is missing, it exposes the dental alveolus. This socket can easily trap the bacteria which cause periodontitis – the condition more commonly known as gum disease. By filling that socket with a sterile titanium cylinder, the dentist effectively prohibits bacteria from colonizing a very sensitive part of their patient’s jaw.

Dental Implants Are Suitable for Most People

So long as they are healthy enough to undergo normal oral surgery or a dental extraction, anyone is a viable candidate for dental implants. The majority of dental implants are endosteal, in which a metal cylinder is embedded within the jawbone to provide a secure point of attachment for the prosthesis. But if the patient’s jawbone is too weak or too shallow to support a cylinder, then their oral health may still be adequate for a subperiosteal procedure, in which the implant is inserted beneath the gumline without penetrating bone.

Most People Are Happy With Their Dental Implants

A recent scientific study surveyed almost 200 people five years after they received one or more dental implants. The consensus was almost perfect: over 99% of patients reported good or excellent satisfaction with their procedures.

If you live in the greater St Cloud, MN area and would like to learn more about receiving a dental implant, then we welcome you to contact Centrasota Dental today. Our prosthodontist Dr. Congdon and our team are always available to discuss our wide range of routine and cosmetic dentistry services.