When it comes to replacing lost teeth, nothing compares to dental implants. These long-lasting, permanent prosthetic teeth address the entire structure of a lost tooth, including its roots. There are some factors, however, that will contribute to the success and longevity of a dental implant. It is especially important for patients to take precautions against gum disease—as this condition can affect bone mass. Overall, those with dental implants should strive to maintain good oral health by practicing healthy habits and receiving regular professional cleanings and examinations from our dentists.
How Dental Implants Restore Teeth
In the past, patients had limited options when it came to treating tooth loss. Traditional prosthetics like dentures only replaced lost tooth structure above the gums. This meant that those who wore dentures were likely to experience bone atrophy and because dentures covered the gums, they were at risk for developing oral infections. To alleviate the shortcomings of dentures, dental implants replace more than just the crowns of teeth; they replace the roots, too. By surgically embedding a titanium post into the jawbone, the base of an implant ultimately functions just like a tooth’s roots. This will help prevent bone resorption while providing a stable, permanent anchor for a dental crown. Once the implant is stable, a permanent crown is attached to the titanium post. The crown provides a tooth-like biting surface and supports neighboring teeth.
Oral Conditions that Can Affect Implant Longevity
While the materials used to make implants cannot decay, the longevity of an implant can be compromised by certain oral health conditions. The biggest threat to an implant’s success is gum disease. Advanced gum disease is a chronic and destructive oral condition that can erode the structures that support implants and biological teeth. Other types of infections and conditions like osteoporosis also affect the stability of an implant.
We recommend that patients receive annual examinations and bi-annual cleanings to monitor oral health and reduce the risk of disease. Practicing proper and thorough oral hygiene is also very important.
Call the office of Drs. Coakley & Trainor today to schedule an appointment with our caring and experienced team.