Dental implants are the most effective and one of the most popular ways to replace missing teeth. Approximately, 178 million Americans have lost at least one tooth due to a variety of factors. With dental implants, Dr. June Daniel Hong at Watermark Dentistry can help you get the most natural-looking and comfortable teeth.
Osseointegration and Dental Implants
What makes dental implants so strong and durable? The process through which dental implants become firmly anchored to your jaw is known as osseointegration. The word is a combination of Greek words: “osteon” which means bone and “integrare” to make whole. During dental implant surgery, we will make a small hole in an empty tooth socket and place a small titanium dental implant inside your jaw. Your jaw will immediately start to heal and the cells of your jawbone will grow tightly around the implant, fusing to it and firmly securing it to the jaw. Depending on the health of your jaw and your overall health, this process can take anywhere between three to six months to complete. Once osseointegration has been achieved, the dental implant will be able to withstand a lot of force and will become fully functional for chewing. Even though nothing can replace your natural tooth, a dental implant is the next best thing. With good care, your dental implant can last for 25 years.
Osseointegration and Its Role in Jawbone Preservation
When a person loses their teeth, the bony alveolar ridge that used to house those teeth dissolves due to lack of stimulation brought upon by the chewing motion that is required to develop and strengthen the jawbone. In as little as a single year, you can lose as much as 25% of your alveolar ridge. This will weaken your jawbone, resulting in the collapse of your facial structure, impacting the beauty and function of your mouth. However, if you opt to place dental implants in your mouth immediately after losing your teeth, they will provide the required stimulation and ensure a healthy and strong jawbone as long as the prosthetics are in place. You can also have dental implants later on, but if your jawbone has already deteriorated, you will first need to get a bone graft performed to augment the jawbone. Once the implants are in place, your jawbone will stop deteriorating and perform optimally.
Substance Use and Its Impact on Osseointegration
Tobacco and alcohol use both negatively impact the process of osseointegration by preventing the formation of good, strong bone. Instead, your jaw will be filled with fibrous tissue that is not strong enough to support a dental implant. Hence, osseointegration will fail. It is important that you limit the use of tobacco and alcohol during implant surgery to ensure successful osseointegration and the longevity of your dental implant.
Schedule an Appointment With Us
Dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%, depending on your health and the location of the jaw. With good oral hygiene and lifestyle habits, you can have dental implants that can last you for over 25 years. If you are missing teeth, schedule an appointment with us by calling (206) 242-5808 and we will determine whether a dental implant is a good treatment option for you.