Longevity of Dental Implants and why are they so expensive?
In todays world of dentistry, a patient with missing teeth has numerous choices from which he can choose.The different treatments available are crown and bridge, dental implants and removable dentures.Nevertheless, if one has to choose out of the 3 options, dental implants come out on top.
Dental implants are believed to be undoubtedly the best treatment option for loss of dentition. They are the closest to the structure of a tooth and almost act like a natural tooth or tooth root. The titanium framework that serves as the main part of the implant fuses with the jawbone after surgery. One of the most important things to consider is the grade of titanium being used as cheap implants are very easy to find, in which the raw material used is of poor quality.
The reason why implants are so preferred among dentists and patients alike is due to the fact that it boosts one”s self-confidence and allows the patient to smile freely without feeling conscious.Some of our patients have even commented as to how after implant placement in the aesthetic zone, the musculature of the face gets a boost as well, helping the wrinkle lines on the face to reduce, subtly but surely.
How long do Dental Implants last?
There are numerous variables that need to be considered by an implant surgeon that may affect the longevity of a dental implant. These include:
Suitability of the patient for the procedure
Sufficient bone support is necessary for implants to survive.This is achieved through gradual bone formation around the implant and in turn, the implant and bone osseointegrate in about 3 months time. The individual hence should have a satisfactory bone in their jaw to aid for implant placement. Patients who have experienced some bone width and height reduction, in addition to tooth loss must hence consult their oral surgeon who will evaluate the further possibility of implants and the need for any additional augmentation procedures
Implant angulation discrepancies
Implant dentistry is a vast branch of dentistry which requires lot of expertise and training, the dentist has to undertake.Minimum training in this field leads to situations which can make an otherwise simple implant case very difficult, post failure from an amateur dentist.Poor implant angulation is very common when a dentist with limited experience attempts an implant placement.Though this can be managed at the second prosthetic stage with various additional components from the implant company, the success rate in the long run drops(due to lateral stresses)and increased cost for the patient.Choose your dentist wisely, someone who has placed atleast a few hundred implants if not more.
Parafunctional habits like grinding, bruxism should be very shrewdly examined as it is a major causative factor for implant failure.Materials with more durability like porcelain on noble metal or zirconium should be considered in such cases.A thorough examination and history is mandatory before proceeding in such cases.
Smoking and Diabetes
Smoking reduces the success rate of implants as it impairs wound healing and bone formation.It is suggested to patients that they undertake a cessation protocol before and after implant placement atleast for 3 months.As for patients with diabetes, a good glycemic control is paramount.An Hba1c should be advised which gives an average blood glucose level in the past 3 months.A value below 7 is good enough for implant treatment.
If well taken care of, dental implants can last anywhere upto 15years in more than 95 percent cases.Proper follow-up care is of utmost importance to make sure this success percentage is achieved in each and every case.Both the patient as well as the implant surgeon are equally responsible for the final result.