Almost 180 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and over 40 million suffer from total endentulism, or toothlessness. It can be a scary thought to lose a tooth, but once tooth decay hits that often occurs. The weakening of facial bone structure caused by decay and gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss although facial trauma also can be a serious concern. Once avulsion occurs, there are a few solutions for repairing the issue. While each solution definitely has its merits, dental implants are the only permanent solution. Your Midtown Manhattan dentist can help you decide if that’s the best solution for your needs. But before that occurs, there are some things you need to know about dental implants.
Not Everyone’s Eligible for Dental Implants
Most people are instantly eligible for bridges or dentures, but that’s not the case with dental implants. Untreated decay and advanced gum disease weaken the facial bone structure. Dental implantation is a surgical procedure, so multiple factors apply prior to being approved. Primarily, a strong, healthy jawbone is essential to be eligible for the treatment. Otherwise, proper osseointegration won’t occur. So if your mandible or surrounding tissue are weakened or destroyed, another option will likely be recommended.
There Are Two Types of Dental Implants
Endosteal implants are the most commonly known and used dental implants. That’s the typical kind that has a titanium or zirconium fixture that screws into the jawbone and an abutment that attaches at the gum line and attaches to the prosthetic tooth. Subperiosteal implants, however, are created from a metal frame and usually used for people who can’t use dentures for some reason. This procedure is implanted below the gum tissue but above the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants still require a strong bone structure, but they are especially beneficial to patients with significantly shorter mandibles.
Dental Implants Are Strong and Durable
Dental implants are an investment to be sure because they’re built to replace your original teeth. Each implant is carefully customized and constructed to fit the patient. They’re meant to be strong enough to handle life without a hitch and in most cases, they last a lifetime. That means they should never “go bad” or need to be replaced. Of course, they do still need to be taken care of properly. But as long as the care requirements are followed, your dental implants should be a permanent fixture in your life.
Proper Oral Hygiene Is Still Essential
Prosthetic teeth tend to resist bacteria and decay far better than natural teeth, so it’s common to think you’re off the hook for ongoing dental care or treatment with dental implants. But that’s never the case with any type of dental procedure. Surrounding tissue and bones can still become diseased and weaken when oral hygiene and care are ignored or neglected. But brushing and flossing are still just as important as they ever were. Seeing your Midtown Manhattan dentist regularly is also essential to ensure potential infection and damage are kept at bay. But when the rules are followed, dental implants can be just as good, if not better, then your original teeth. Give us a call when you’re ready to permanently improve your life.