When teeth are missing, dental implants offer a permanent solution. They have the ability to restore both the functionality and appearance of a smile and are considered the gold standard. But while undergoing an implant-based restoration can seem like a daunting prospect, it always helps if you learn more about the facts. With this in mind, here are 5 interesting facts you might not know.
Dental implants are long-lasting
Unlike other forms of tooth restoration, a dental implant can last for many years. In fact, the very first implant restorations were placed into a human in 1965 and those implants were still functioning well right up until the patient’s death in 2006 – some 40 years later.
So why is that?
Conventional bridges and dentures are wholly dependent upon the health of your teeth and gums surrounding them. Unfortunately, gums and teeth can and will deteriorate over time. As such, traditional restorations like bridges and dentures will need to be changed every 7-10 years.
Dental implants, on the other hand, are self-supporting. In other words, they don’t rely on the health or state of your other teeth. Once anchored into the jaw (and provided they are cared for correctly) they can sit happily in position for many years. So while the dental implant cost may seem initially high, in reality, you only have to buy them once.
Implants are incredibly strong
Many people who opt for more traditional methods of missing teeth replacement like dentures find that they still have to be careful about what they eat. This is because dentures are designed to sit on the gum line and are supported by hard and soft tissue. As such, the normal bite force of a human is somewhere around 200lbs per square inch but typically, a denture provides around 50lbs per square inch. That’s around one-quarter of our natural teeth! This can make tasks like chewing meat or eating crunchy fruit and vegetables difficult.
Conversely, dental implants are made from titanium which in itself is a highly durable material but more importantly, it has the ability to fuse with bone tissue once implanted into the site. Collectively, this makes for a super-strong platform which, once a crown has been placed, should restore somewhere between 80-90% of the bite force of your natural teeth. This gives patients the opportunity to eat what they like without having to worry about the durability of their restoration.
Dental implants are good for your jaw
When teeth are lost, what many people don’t realise is that the jaw starts to deteriorate.
Tooth roots help to sustain the health of your jaw because the surrounding bone tissue is stimulated every time you bite and chew. This, in turn, keeps the jaw strong and healthy. Without teeth, you no longer have tooth roots and without tooth roots, the body starts to reabsorb the bone tissue because it’s no longer needed. This action causes the jaw to deteriorate and shrink but by how much?
It’s suggested that on average, the jaw undergoes a decrease of around 25% in width during the first 12 months and as much as 4-5 millimetres in height over the course of several years, so it is pretty significant.
By getting one or several dental implants you are in effect replacing those tooth roots with artificial titanium ones and as a result, bone loss stops indefinitely. Because of the nature of how dental implants are done, this is the only form of tooth replacement that can halt bone loss permanently!
Dental implants are hassle-free
To say that a procedure taking anywhere between 5-9 months to complete is hassle-free may be a little contradictory but consider this…
Once you have bitten the bullet, paid the dental implant cost, and undergone the process, you are left with a fully restored tooth or teeth that feel, look – and to a certain extent act – just like your natural teeth.
So unlike removable dentures or bridges which need to be taken out at night, dental implants remain permanently in position. You don’t need to worry about soaking agents, fixatives or sterilisers. Instead, simply brush and floss them like you would your natural teeth.
Dental implants are cost-effective
Given what we know now about dental implants and given the fact that they can last for many years, dental implant restorations are actually incredibly cost-effective. While the price of a dental implant procedure can be considerably more than that of conventional dentures initially, bridges and dentures will have ongoing associated costs which mount up over time.
Costs like sterilising tablets and fixatives which help to keep restorations clean and in position are one such example. As, of course, are the added costs of replacement which may need to be carried out several times throughout the course of life depending upon age. Suddenly, what may appear initially cheap, isn’t – especially when you start looking at the bigger picture.
But perhaps the biggest advantage to any initial dental implant cost is complete peace-of-mind. Because of how dental implants are done, they can not only restore a smile but can bring back much of that lost confidence and self-esteem that occurred once teeth were missing. They allow you to do what you want to do and live the life you lead, without restriction and for many this is priceless!
If you are curious about dental implant restorations and are strongly considering it, then why not contact the team at myDentist West Ryde. We use the latest digital dental technology and surgery techniques to provide innovative long-lasting tooth restorations that will bring your smile back to life.
Call (02) 8073 9338 today to see just how we can help you.