Will Dental Implants Affect the Natural, Adjacent Teeth?
Written By: Dr. Michael Richer
Dental implants are a good solution for teeth replacement due to their structure, which includes a root-like component and a dental crown. One of the primary advantages of dental implants is their ability to function independently without relying on neighboring teeth for support. Unlike fixed dental bridges, dental implants do not compromise the surrounding natural teeth in any way.
In fact, dental implants provide support to the adjacent natural teeth. When a missing tooth is replaced with an implant, it prevents the neighboring teeth from shifting or moving from their original position. Additionally, implants help prevent bone loss, maintaining a healthier bone structure. By averting bone atrophy, dental implants contribute to the preservation of jaw shape and reduce further tooth loss.
Dental Implants Are Like Natural Teeth
Dental implants stand out from other tooth restorations due to their unique construction. They consist of a titanium post and artificial crown, completely replacing a missing tooth's entire structure. Unlike dentures and bridges that only replace the visible portion of teeth and rest on the gums, implants replace the roots and crowns of teeth.
The dental implant's titanium post is surgically placed directly into the jawbone. Over time, the post becomes firmly secured as the surrounding bone integrates with it through osseointegration. This integration mimics the natural tooth root and enables the dental implant to stand independently once the jawbone has stabilized it. So, dental implants do not rely on support from surrounding teeth, offering a self-supporting solution for tooth restoration.
Dental Implants Help Preserve Jawbone Density
It is essential to have sufficient bone tissue available for integration to ensure a strong and lasting bond between dental implants and your jawbone. This ensures that your implant tooth can remain stable and functional for decades or even a lifetime.
Dental implants can prevent further disintegration of your bone tissue, which is especially beneficial if you are receiving treatment for conditions like osteoporosis. In general, dental implants promote and preserve the integrity of your bone tissue.
Restoring Bone Density with Bone Grafting
If a significant amount of bone density has already been lost in the jaw and teeth, some patients may think dental implants are not viable. But this is not necessarily the case. Bone grafting can add bone tissue to the depleted site, enabling the successful placement of a dental implant.
The bone grafting procedure involves the removal of bone tissue from a donor location and placing it in the targeted area. The donor bone can be sourced from a stronger jaw, chin, or hip. Once the graft is secure, the dental implant can be placed, restoring oral health and function.
Thanks to bone grafting, patients can benefit from dental implants in sites where rapid decay would have otherwise caused significant dental problems.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution for tooth replacement. Research has shown a high success rate of about 95 percent for implants over ten years.
The permanence of dental implants is attributed to osseointegration, wherein the implant fuses with the jawbone. This direct interface allows the implant to function as an artificial tooth root, providing a stable base for a dental crown.
While the implant is built to last permanently, it's important to note that the dental crown placed on it may require replacement following regular wear and tear. On average, about 60 to 75 percent of crowns need to be replaced within 20 years or less.
FDA's Recommendations for Dental Implant Patients
Before deciding on dental implants, it is important to discuss with your dentist the potential benefits and downsides and determine if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.
The FDA outlines the following considerations:
Your overall health plays a significant role in determining your eligibility for dental implants, the duration of the healing process, and the long-term success of the implant.
- Ask your dentist for information about the specific brand and model of dental implant being used, and keep this information for your records.
- Smoking can adversely impact the healing process and reduce the chances of long-term success for the implant.
- The healing period for the implant body may last several months or more, during which a temporary abutment will typically be placed instead of a tooth.
- It is vital to follow the oral hygiene instructions provided by your dentist. Regularly cleaning the implant and the surrounding teeth is crucial for the long-term success of the implant.
- It is important to schedule regular visits with your dentist to monitor the progress of the implant and maintain optimal oral health.
- If you experience any sensations of looseness or pain in the implant, it is essential to inform your dentist promptly.
Why Dental Implants are the Top Choice for Tooth Replacement
Dental implants offer numerous benefits that greatly enhance oral health and quality of life.
- Restored Chewing Function: Dental implants restore the ability to chew and bite effectively, allowing for the enjoyment of a wide range of foods.
- Improved Cosmetic Appearance: Dental implants provide a natural and aesthetically pleasing appearance, enhancing the smile and restoring self-confidence.
- Preservation of Jawbone Health: By preventing bone loss, dental implants help maintain the jawbone's structure and density, preventing it from shrinking over time.
- Preservation of Surrounding Tissues: Dental implants contribute to the preservation of the health of surrounding bone and gums, minimizing the risk of deterioration or infection.
- Stability of Adjacent Teeth: Dental implants help to keep adjacent teeth stable by providing support and preventing shifting or movement.
- Enhanced Quality of Life: With dental implants, individuals can experience improved oral function, increased comfort, and a renewed sense of overall well-being.
Follow-Up Care for Dental Implants
Like natural teeth, dental implants require diligent oral care at home and regular visits to the dentist to maintain their function and prevent complications. Brushing and flossing remain essential for keeping the implant clean and plaque-free.
After the implant procedure, your dentist will work closely with you to develop a personalized care plan. Regular follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor the health of your implant, teeth, and gums, ensuring their continued well-being.
High-Quality Dental Implants to Replace Missing Teeth
Dr. Michael Richer and Dr. Nadia Rivera help restore patients’ smiles at R+R Dental with safe, proven, and advanced dental implants. Call us today at (347) 431-0657 to schedule an appointment, or contact us online.