For over 30 years, dental implants have been used to replace teeth missing and badly damaged teeth. With dental implants, you can eat, laugh, sneeze, and live as if they are your real teeth.
Dental implants are not only a reliable tooth restoration, but they are also the strongest tooth replacement option. While dental implants are unparalleled by any other prosthetic tooth restoration treatment, you might be wondering “how well dental implants hold up compared to real teeth.”
This question doesn’t necessarily have a black and white answer. It depends on your individual dental health, bone strength, and the current strength of your natural teeth.
Dental implants function in essentially the same way as your real teeth. Instead of natural tooth roots, your tooth is held in with a titanium implant post that is surgically implanted in your jawbone.
Over time, your jawbone heals in and around the titanium implant through a process called osseointegration. The strength of your jawbone, and your jaw’s ability to heal around the implant directly influences the strength and stability of the implant.
Unlike natural teeth, your implant will function differently, because it is anchored into the bone, rather than by the tooth’s roots in the gums. Natural teeth are allowed some movement since they are attached into the gums with ligaments, while dental implants should not move at all. In some contexts, your dental implant could be stronger and withstand more pressure than your teeth.
For instance, if you’re dealing with gum disease and tooth decay, then your teeth will be less stable in your mouth. Teeth in a gum diseased mouth are likely to move around in your gumline and feel unstable when biting into hard foods. At the same time, even though dental implants can remain sturdy and strong in your mouth, they are actually susceptible to infection as well.
The primary way to keep your dental implants healthy and strong is by keeping your gums and jawbone healthy and strong. This is why patients often need to undergo a bone graft before receiving dental implants. Bone grafts strengthen your jawbone, so it is more equipped to heal around the titanium implant.
The idea of receiving a bone graft might seem scary. However, even though the term “bone graft” might seem daunting, it is actually one of the most positive things you can do to restore your dental health after undergoing tooth loss.
When a tooth is extracted or lost, the underlying bone no longer has anything to support its structure. As time passes, the bone will begin to dwindle, until there’s a ridge in the jaw bone. In the area where the tooth was lost, the jaw bone and the gum tissue will be significantly lower in elevation than the surrounding bone. When this goes untreated, the surrounding jawbone can become weak, putting your other teeth at risk of becoming loose and falling out.
Bone grafts are a simple procedure that can combat this problem. Bone grafts have existed for a long time, as a way to strengthen the bone in a given area. For bone grafts in the jawbone, we simply take a small sample of bone from another area of your body, then transplant the new bone to the diminished area in the jawbone. This process triggers the regeneration of bone and bonds the grafted tissue with the existing jawbone tissue.
This process allows the dental implant to have a higher chance of integrating properly with the jawbone, decreasing the risk of it becoming loose or falling out. The most convenient part about bone grafts is that they can be performed during the first phase of your dental implant treatment, so you won’t need to worry about making extra appointments.
The best part about having a bone graft is that it increases the longevity and success of your dental implant treatment, without increasing your recovery time from dental implant surgery. Want to learn more about bone grafts for dental implant treatments? Call PGA Dentistry in West Palm Beach, FL today at 561-627-8666.