Studies show that nearly 70% of all adults will have lost at least one permanent tooth due to accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay between the ages of 35 and 44. By age 74, fully 26% of adults lose all of their permanent teeth.
Up until about the late 1970s, dentures and/or bridges were the only choices for people wishing to address the problem of missing teeth. But removable dentures can slip, causing embarrassing clicking sounds while eating or speaking, and carry the risk of bone loss in areas where the tooth or teeth are missing. Fixed bridges often affect adjacent healthy teeth, resulting in recurrent decay, periodontal (gum) disease and other factors that can doom fixed bridgework to early failure. As a result, studies have shown that fixed bridges and removable dentures generally must be replaced every seven to fifteen years.
Today, the solution of choice for replacing missing teeth is undoubtedly the dental implant. Dental implants are prosthetic devices anchored by a screw-like “root” composed of titanium metal that “fuses” with the jawbone through a process called “osseointegration,” restoring a patient’s ability to eat, speak clearly and smile with less inconvenience and risk of failure than with dentures and bridges. Dental implants never slip or make embarrassing noises that advertise the presence of “false teeth,” and never decay like teeth anchoring fixed bridges. Because dental implants fuse with the jawbone, bone loss is also generally not a problem.
Long-term follow-up studies of patients receiving dental implants show the vast majority continue to function effectively 20 years and more after being placed. More importantly, dental implant patients remain satisfied with their choice 20 plus years down the road. When properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Sydney Women would probably have more dental implants if they were more affordable.
Have you had a dental implant? Would you recommend it to your friends?
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