Dental Implants are permanent replacements for missing teeth that are anchored into the jaw. The prosthetic teeth are meant to replace the natural teeth that were lost due to disease, traumatic injury, or the wear and tear of the years. Dental implants are similar to dentures in the fact that they are synthetic tooth replacements, but many patients feel that dental implants are superior. Dental implants can have a more natural appearance and feel than dentures do, and they are treated just like natural teeth.
Dental implants are typically crafted from titanium. This biocompatible metal is ultra-strong and is also used for many hip replacements. The titanium is formed into a type of synthetic root that is drilled directly into a hole within the jaw. This synthetic root is the support system for the new tooth, which is also typically made of titanium. The prosthetic tooth is then covered with an implant crown that matches the natural teeth around it. Once the prosthetic tooth has been screwed into place atop the titanium framework, it is highly unlikely to move at all. The stability of a dental implant is very similar to that of a natural tooth, and in fact, the titanium roots may be stronger than the natural ones were.
The longevity of dental implants can vary from one person to the next. However, because the majority of people getting dental implants are 45 or older, the implants will generally last for the remainder of a patient's life. While the framework of the dental implants will not need replacement, the crown overlay may need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years due to the fact that the crown is subjected to the wear and tear of chewing every day.
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