Patients value dental implants. There’s good reason for that – they look like, fit like, and feel like real teeth. They even offer all the functionality of natural teeth, restoring healthy speech, biting, and chewing ability. But how durable are dental implants?
Most people know that implant surgery is a safe way to effectively restore your smile and protect your jaw bone density. But if implants aren’t durable … well, they’d be a poor investment, wouldn’t they. Your tooth replacement needs to last.
How Durable Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants have a few things in their favor: how they’re placed, what they’re made of, and how they age in your mouth.
Dental Implants Are Anchored In Bone
Dental implants are made from three parts: a post with screw threading, a ceramic crown, and an abutment to connect the other two. The oral surgeon places the dental implant post into the jawbone and it acts as the “root” of the crown. It’s just like a replacement tooth. In most cases, no one will ever be able to tell it’s not a natural tooth. Post-surgery, the jawbone heals to lock in the titanium dental implant post. Because the bone is fused with the post, the replacement tooth has even greater strength than a natural tooth would.
Dental Implants Are Made of Titanium
The post and abutment are both titanium – one of the very strongest metals available. It’s an alloy that doesn’t corrode, letting it become a go-to metal for surgery that requires posts or screws. Better still, it can osseointegrate (join with bone). Dental titanium has the added benefit of being biocompatible. Patients rarely experience rejection of the implant.
Dental Implants Don’t Decay
Real teeth often suffer from decay. Your mouth harbors bacteria – and when sugars are present, they combine with the bacteria to create acids. Those naturally-occurring acids work to attack tooth enamel, weakening teeth and causing tooth decay and caries. Unless treated, decay often leads to tooth loss.
However, implants will never decay. Titanium is impervious to mouth acids. So is ceramic. It may be safe to say that implants are even more durable than natural teeth … in most ways. So, what’s their Achilles’ heel, if they have one?
Dental Implants Don’t Break (Most of the Time)
Dental titanium is highly fracture-resistant. The posts and abutments are generally even stronger than natural tooth roots. Where issues may happen, however, is with the ceramic crown. If abused, it can fracture. The ceramic is super-strong, but it’s no more durable than a real tooth. Just like you can chip a natural tooth, you can chip or crack the ceramic dental implant crown. Fortunately, replacement is simple – much more simple than replacing a tooth.
Here’s how to keep your dental implant crowns from breaking: simply use them to chew food. Don’t treat them like tools for opening packaging or pulling cars or lifting heavy weights like we’ve seen on YouTube…. For that matter, don’t use your natural teeth for those things either. It’s also a good idea to avoid chewing ice or cracking nuts with your teeth.
So, how durable are dental implants? The answer is in. With normal use, they’ll last for a long time – probably even longer than your natural teeth.
To have your questions about dental implant surgery and tooth replacement answered, call our office at (423) 296-8210 today. We’d love to speak with you and help you determine if dental implants are a good choice for you. You can start to restore your smile today!