While dental technology has greatly developed the science of dental implants, there’s no substitute for natural teeth. One literature review suggests dental patients should work to preserve their natural teeth as they provide the longest lifespan.
The review was conducted through Harvard School of Dental Medicine in conjunction with many other respected institutions. The findings concluded that 15-year tooth loss rates ranged from 3.6 percent to 13.4 percent, while implant loss rates ranged upwards to 33 percent.
Dental implants are surgically attached to the jaw in the form of a post, usually connected by titanium. The artificial tooth is then applied to the post, replacing the natural tooth altogether. The majority of dental implants are successfully attached but a small percentage can fail.
A patient’s dental history can determine the success rate of the dental implant. Certain patients, including those that suffered from aggressive periodontitis, experienced an implant failure rate upwards to 40 percent.
Despite new dental implant technology, their survival rate has yet to eclipse a person’s natural teeth. While the study certainly calls for additional testing, researchers consider the findings significant. Researchers were quick to caution the findings as data was collected from separate studies that observed dental implants separately from natural teeth.
Nevertheless, vastly improved dental implants may not be far away. A newly developed nanotube technology promises dental implants will heal faster and even prevent infection at the site of insertion. Infection of the dental implant is a real possibility considering the average amount of bacteria present within the mouth.
The evidence seems to suggest there’s still no perfect substitute for natural teeth.