18 October 2021

What Are Dental Implants?

Smiling Older Female Model with Dental ImplantsDental implants can replace missing teeth and restore tooth function, your smile, and your confidence. Gum or bone disease, trauma, tooth decay, or congenital disorders can cause tooth loss, and statistics show that 69 percent of adults between ages 35 and 44 are missing at least one tooth. If you have experienced tooth loss, dental implants are the most natural-looking and effective way to replace them.

What Are Dental Implants and How Long Do They Last?

Dental implants function as artificial tooth roots. An implant that replaces a single tooth has three components to mimic natural tooth structure:

  • Root form – An oral surgeon places an artificial root in your jawbone, usually made of titanium. And the implant and bone fuse in several months.
  • Abutment – A connector attached to the implant secures a dental crown.
  • Dental crown – A natural-looking restoration replaces the portion of your tooth above the gumline.

Also, dental implants can support a bridge allowing you to replace multiple missing teeth. Meanwhile, our CONUS restoration process uses several implants to stabilize a denture and address a full arch or mouthful of missing teeth.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Studies show that dental implants can last for decades—a lifetime for many patients. However, the lifespan of your dental implants will depend on several factors, including:

  • High-quality planning and placement
  • Your general and oral health
  • Maintaining regular dental exams and cleanings
  • Quality and quantity of your bone for supporting implants

Still, throughout the life of the implant roots, you may need to replace your dental crowns, bridge, or denture as needed.

What Is the Difference Between an Abutment and a Dental Prosthesis?

An abutment is a post attached to the top of an implant root form. The upper portion of the abutment shows above your gumline. However, a dental prosthesis is a replacement tooth that your dentist will attach to the abutment to complete your smile.

 Types of dental prostheses:

  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Dentures

Interested in Long-Lasting Tooth Replacement?

The dental implant process and implants’ structure help them outlast other forms of tooth replacement. If you live in the Oklahoma City area and would like to know if you are a candidate for this treatment, OKC-OMS has four locations for your convenience. After an exam and a 3-D x-ray, one of our oral surgeons will explain your options. Schedule a consultation today.