I wanted to start a monthly blog on the common questions we receive here at our offices. Today, I'm writing you about dental implants, and if you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen a huge amount of information on dental implants in the last couple of years. Whether it be on TV or social media, dental implants are becoming the “mainstream” options for tooth replacement. The question is, why?? Well, despite enormous improvements and advances in dentistry, tooth loss continues to be a big problem in our country. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Americans aged 65 years and older have an average of only 19 teeth remaining, while about 27% of seniors above 65 years age have already lost all their teeth. In addition, hundreds of children and younger adults lose their teeth because of trauma, fracture, infection or poor oral hygiene maintenance.
So, when it comes to replacing damaged or missing teeth, we here in Dell Rapids and Flandreau offer a couple of different options. Among them, dental implants stand out as the most reliable and longest lasting tooth replacement. So, again, why have dental implants have become so popular? Let’s look at some of the benefits of dental implants over other tooth replacement options, like removable dentures and bridges.
What are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a screw-shaped metallic (titanium) fixture which is surgically embedded in the jaw bone, and it serves as a replacement root. One or more artificial teeth are then attached to the implant to restore dental function and esthetics. Here’s why dental implants have become so popular these days:
- Excellent Success Rate – Dental implants have the highest success rate among all tooth replacement options. Success rate refers to the number of implants which survive in the oral cavity without failing for a specific duration. According to the data provided by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), dental implants have a 5-year success rate of about 98%. Another study showed a 10 years average success rate of dental implants to be 98.5%. Compared to other tooth replacement options, this is GREAT.
- Natural Appearance – because dental implants are embedded in the jaw bone just like natural teeth, they appear and function as our own teeth. As a result, the artificial teeth supported by the implants possess a natural beauty which not only enhances your smile but also your personality, dental function, and speech.
- No Need for Repair of Replacement – removable dentures and bridges possess limited clinical service life. They also require frequent repair or replacement, which is not only an inconvenience but is also time-consuming and involves recurrent expenditures. According to a survey, 39% of the removable dentures were not being used just after five years of fabrication. On the other hand, the dental implants are made from high-quality Titanium alloys which make them sufficiently strong, durable and most importantly, safe for use in the oral cavity. So, unlike the removable denture and fixed bridges, once dental implants are placed in the bone for supporting the artificial teeth, they will serve for a lifetime.
- Improvement in Speech and Eating Efficiency – one of the major problems associated with the removable denture is the difficulty to eat or speak properly. This is because it is quite difficult to keep them from slipping while eating or speaking. This problem has been eliminated by the dental implants. Since they are anchored in the jaw bone like natural teeth, artificial teeth attached to the implants remain firmly fixed, thereby restoring your ability to speak or eat without difficulty. This also means that you can also enjoy your favorite foods without having to worry about your dentures coming out!
- Tooth Conservation – when replacing teeth with fixed bridges, neighboring natural teeth also need to be prepared to create room for the attachment of the prosthesis. Once natural tooth structure is lost, it can’t be put back on! Dental implants eliminate this issue because their placement does not require sacrifice or preparation of the adjacent natural teeth. The implants are simply placed over the missing tooth gap without damaging the neighboring teeth.
- Minimal Bone Loss – removable dentures derive their retention and support from the underlying soft tissues and jaw bone. This means that whenever they are worn, they will exert a direct pressure on the underlying bone causing resorption. As a result, the density and thickness of the jaw bone gradually start to decrease, ultimately leading to bone loss and even potential jaw fracture. This is not the case with dental implants. In fact, dental implants promote the formation of healthy bone around them through a process known as osseointegration. This not only minimizes bone loss, but it also ensures that the implants, and the artificial teeth which they support, remain firmly embedded in dense bone.
- Patient Satisfaction – tired of wearing your removable dentures? Switch to dental implants and say hello to a new world of convenience. Dental Implants have been shown to significantly enhance the quality of life in older patients. Another study found that patients who had dental implant supported complete dentures were more satisfied than those who were wearing conventional complete dentures.
All of these reasons and more make dental implants the best solution for missing teeth. After all, it is the only true tooth replacement option in dentistry today. If you are tired of getting your dentures repaired or replaced every now and then, or don’t like a space left by a missing tooth,, then you should consider getting your missing teeth replaced with dental implants. So, what are you waiting for? A beautiful and healthy smile awaits you! Visit us in either Dell Rapids or Flandreau today and get a FREE consultation.
2 Duminil, Gérard, et al. "Success Rate of the EVL Evolution Implants (SERF): A Five-Year Longitudinal Multicenter Study." Journal of Oral Implantology 34.5 (2008): 282-289.
3 Mangano, Francesco Guido, et al. "Short (8?mm) locking?taper implants supporting single crowns in posterior region: a prospective clinical study with 1?to 10?years of follow?up." Clinical Oral Implants Research 25.8 (2014): 933-940.
4 Koyama, Shigeto, et al. "Evaluation of factors affecting the continuing use and patient satisfaction with removable partial dentures over 5 years." Journal of prosthodontic research 54.2 (2010): 97-101.
5 Stanford, Clark M. "Dental implants: a role in geriatric dentistry for the general practice?." The Journal of the American Dental Association 138 (2007): S34-S40.
6 Boerrigter, E. M., et al. "Patient satisfaction and chewing ability with implant-retained mandibular overdentures: a comparison with new complete dentures with or without preprosthetic surgery." Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery 53.10 (1995): 1167-1173.
Dental Answers With Dr. Ford