There are several different ways to replace missing teeth. Partial dentures are popular. Bridges are popular as well. The most durable solution is a dental implant, though. Dental implants are not removable like partial dentures. They are the most permanent option for someone who has missing teeth. Here is how it works.
How It Works
When you have teeth that are missing, you will go to a dentist. The dentist will inspect your gums to find the reasons that your teeth are missing. If you know the reason, they will be able to just move on to mapping your teeth. They’ll map your teeth to get the shape and begin to design replacement teeth that look like your natural teeth. They’ll match the style and the color as well. The dental implant is usually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
If you have been tested and found to be a good candidate for dental implants, the dentist will then schedule you for at least two appointments. The first appointment will be one in which the dentist will make a small incision in your gum and insert an anchor. This is the actual implant. It will need to heal over the next few weeks. Ideally, the anchor will integrate into the bone itself and become indistinguishable from the bone of your jaw.
At the second appointment, you will have the actual false tooth implanted into the anchor.
How Long They Last
It’s not always consistent how long the dental implants can last in your mouth. If they integrate into your bones effectively, then they should last indefinitely. A recent study found that the first woman to have dental implants received them in 1965. They were still in place in 2005. So, those lasted at least 40 years.
The implants have a very low failure rate; however, studies have found that those who smoked were two and a half times more likely to have dental implants fail than non-smokers. You should also make sure you follow all of the guidelines laid out by your dentist after the implants have been installed. If you follow the guidelines and do everything you should, the implant should last indefinitely. They’re designed to be a permanent addition to your body.
The implants are made of titanium, which is a very strong metal that has been shown to integrate very well with bone. The crowns are typically made of a very hard ceramic.