While you may have only recently heard about dental implants, you may know they’re innovative, but they’re not new. The first implant was placed in 1965, which means they have been in use for over 50 years! In that time, millions of patients have enjoyed their benefits to the point that they’re now referred to as the “gold standard” for tooth replacement.
What Is A Dental Implant?
First, it's helpful to understand what implants are and how they work. The easiest way to think of implants is that they replace your entire tooth, from root to crown. A small titanium post is placed in the jaw and allowed to heal and integrate with surrounding bone and tissue, becoming a replacement root. After healing, a crown, bridge, or denture is attached to the implant to restore appearance and function.
Why Are Implants So Popular?
- Highly successful – Over the decades, it has been demonstrated that placing dental implants is a highly successful procedure with a 95 percent success rate.
- Most like a natural tooth – Of all the tooth replacement options, because of the way they're designed, a dental implant looks, feels, and functions the most like a natural tooth.
- Implants are meant to be permanent – Once the implant post heals in your jaw, it becomes part of your dental structure. As long as you brush, floss, and schedule regular exams and cleanings, the implant should last a lifetime.
- Prevents bone erosion – Bridges and dentures are good for restoring appearance and function but do nothing to preserve the bone in your jaw which can gradually break down over time. The presence of a dental implant continues to stimulate the bone and tissue in your jaw to keep regenerating.
- Restored function – Dentures only restore about 10 percent of your chewing function; dental implants restore about 90 percent.