An artificial tooth root which is placed into the jaw and hold a replacement tooth or bridge is the definition of dental implant. Dental implants are an ideal option for the healthy people with good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to extensive dental caries, failures of root canal treatment, periodontal diseases, tooth injuries, or some other reasons.
Dental implants are actually stronger, more durable and more tooth-saving than traditional tooth replacement because implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. Therefore dental implants offer a permanent solution to tooth loss. It may be used in conjunction with other restorative procedures for maximum effectiveness.
Single implant can serve to support a crown replacing a single missing tooth.
Implants can be used to support a dental bridge for replacement of multiple missing teeth.
Implants can be used with denture to increase stability and reduce gum tissue irritation.
There is no guaranty that an implant procedure will be successful but many studies have shown a five-year success rate of 95% for lower jaw implants and 90% for upper jaw implants. The success rate of lower jaw implants (especially lower posterior region) is slightly higher than the upper jaw implants because bone density in the lower jaw is more dense than the upper jaw. Most implants are very successful but crowns, bridges or dentures that the implants support can be damaged just like normal teeth – for example – a result of an accident, break or chip. The crowns, bridges or dentures are easily replaced, providing the implant underneath is not damaged.
The failure causes are often related to the failure in the osseointegration process. Poor position of implants, smoking, poor oral hygiene are the major causes of failure. The proper treatment plan is the most important process for the successful of treatment by the dentist team. Anyway maintaining good oral hygiene by thoroughly brushing and flossing the teeth, follow the specific advice on caring the implants from dentists, regular check-up and take x-ray images each year will prolong the life-time of implants.