dental implantsDental Implants

People are living longer than ever, and while regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental checkups allow many of us to maintain our natural smiles for a lifetime, sometimes our teeth simply cannot keep up. If you have lost a tooth (or a few teeth) due to injury or disease, dental implants can rejuvenate both your smile and your oral health.

Known as the most viable tooth replacement option available, an implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into the jawbone. The “root” is usually made of titanium: the same material used in many replacement hips and knees, and a metal that is well-suited to fusing with human bone. A replacement tooth is then fixed to the post. The tooth can be either permanently attached or removable (depending on the type of artificial dental prosthesis you choose) but will look like a natural tooth, blending in with the rest of your smile. The implant post itself is permanent, and will never decay – it will feel like a permanent tooth. Permanent teeth are more stable and feel more like natural teeth.

The ideal candidate for implants is a non-smoker who has good oral health, including a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw, and healthy gums with no sign of gum disease.

Single or multiple implants

Implants are versatile. If you are only missing one tooth, one implant plus one replacement tooth will do the trick. If you are missing several teeth in a row, a few strategically placed implants can support a permanent bridge (a set of replacement teeth). Similarly, if you have lost all of your teeth, a full bridge or full denture can be permanently fixed in your mouth with a strategic number of implants.

Advantages over bridges or dentures

Conventional bridges and dentures are not fixed to the bone, and can, therefore, be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural but also feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force. And because they do not directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants will not compromise the health of your natural teeth. In fact, bridges are only expected to last seven to ten years, even less with root canals, whereas implants will typically last a lifetime.

Post-treatment care

Consider oral care for your replacement teeth to be the same as natural teeth. They require the same daily brushing and flossing, and the same amount of regular checkups. Although your dental implants will not succumb to decay, as natural teeth can, implants still require oral hygiene efforts. Just like your natural teeth, the better you take care of your replacements, the longer they will last. Generally, dental implants are 98% successful, so long as you maintain good oral hygiene.

To learn more about dental implants, contact Triangle Periodontics by calling (919) 782-9536 to schedule a consultation. We welcome patients of Apex, Cary, and Raleigh, North Carolina.