What Makes Dental Implants Such A Tough, Resilient Tooth Replacement Choice?
If you are missing one or more teeth, your dentist will likely recommend replacing them with implants rather than with a bridge. Dental implants, after all, are the most durable and resilient tooth replacement option. The metal implant can last for the rest of your life, and the crown portion of the tooth should only need to be replaced every few decades. But what makes dental implants so resilient? Here's a look.
"Osseointegration" is a word that means "integration with the bone." One reason why implants are so stable is that they are anchored directly into your jawbone -- just like a natural tooth. Over time, the bone grows around the implant, stabilizing it in your jaw. Eventually, your implant will be permanently "cemented" into the bone with natural bone tissue. It won't wiggle when you chew, and you're no more likely to knock it out of your mouth than you are a natural tooth.
The posts that are implanted in your jaw bone are made from titanium, a very durable metal. Titanium has been used since the 1950s, and it has a long track record of success with implants. Not only is it strong, but it's considered biocompatible. This means that the body won't react negatively to its presence. The use of titanium in implants means there is a low risk of rejection, and virtually no risk of the implant actually breaking or cracking -- since titanium is significantly stronger than steel.
The visible, chewing portion of the tooth is known as a crown. The crown is added to your dental implant after your jawbone has a chance to begin the osseointegration process. Waiting to add the crown increases the stability and strength of the implant. The fact that the crown is typically made from tooth-colored porcelain also increases its durability. Porcelain is very hard and is resistant to scratches and abrasion from crunchy foods. It will stand the test of time and allow you to use your implant just like a natural tooth.
If you need a tooth or a few teeth replaced, dental implants really are the most permanent, durable choice. Talk to a dentist like Richard L. Myers, DDS to learn more about the process of having implants put into place, and then decide whether they are right for you. While implants do require surgery, they are well worth the discomfort because once healed, they will last a lifetime.