Dental Implants have become one of the most popular and stable dental procedures for tooth replacement offered in dentistry today – since they have been proven
to be safe and extremely successful for long-term replacement of missing teeth.
Dental implants are an artificial tooth root – typically made of titanium – that a periodontist or oral surgeon places into your jaw to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. What can dental implants do? They can replace a single tooth, be support for a bridge, or as support for a denture – making it more comfortable and secure.
History Of Dental Implants
Dental implants were not always such a routine procedure in dentistry. There was a time when dental implants were essentially experiments in seeing what worked and what did not. In the last 15 years we have really entered a new age with dental implants being almost routine in their nature now. Most dentists cannot imagine a day without them anymore as a treatment for patients.
The father of dental implants is Swedish professor Per-Ingvar Branemark. During his research, he discovered that it was impossible for him to recover any of the bone-anchored titanium microscopes he was using in his research at the time. The titanium had apparently bonded irreversibly to the living bone tissue. He was later able to demonstrate that titanium could be integrated into living bone tissue with a very high degree of predictability and without long-term soft tissue inflammation or rejection of the titanium fixture. Professor Branemark called this process osseointegration.
The first real-world application of osseointegration was the implantation of new titanium roots in an edentulous patient in 1965. Over 30 years later, the non-removable teeth attached to these roots were still functioning perfectly.
Dental Implants Success
Dental Implants are the perfect option for people in generally good oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, trauma, or any other reason. Dental implants are actually more tooth saving than traditional crowns and bridges, since dental implants do not remove healthy teeth structure or rely on adjacent teeth for support.
Sufficient bone is necessary to support the dental implants, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Dental implants are intimately connected with the underlying bone and gum tissues in the mouth. So, proper dental hygiene is necessary for their long-term success. With technique and material advancements, dental bone grafts are now more successful than ever and can be used to augment your natural bone.
Be honest with your dentist regarding health issues or anything that could ultimately affect the success of the procedure. There is an increased risk of failure in patients who smoke. For this reason, dental implants are frequently placed only after a patient has stopped smoking.
Dental implant success is related to surgeon’s skill, quality and quantity of the bone available at the site, and the patient’s dental hygiene maintenance. Failure of dental implants is usually due to the failure of the implant to osseointegrate – fuse with bone – correctly or vice-versa.
A dental Implant is considered a failure if it is lost, mobile or shows marked bone loss around the implant. Dental implants are not susceptible to dental caries – an infection also known as tooth decay or a cavity – but they can develop a condition called peri-implantitis. This is an inflammatory condition of the gingival tissue and/or bone around the implant which may result in bone loss and eventual loss of the implant. It is usually associated with chronic infection. Peri-implantitis is more likely to occur in heavy smokers, patients with diabetes, patients with poor dental hygiene and cases where the gingival tissue around the implant is thin.
More rarely, dental implants may fail because of poor surgical placement, not having enough bone healing prior to restoring with a crown, or may be overloaded initially, causing failure to integrate. If smoking and positioning problems exist prior to implant surgery, dentists often recommend to patients that implants may not be the best option. Then they will recommend a bridge or a partial denture to replace the missing tooth.
Once restored, dental implants are very natural looking and the patient will not feel any difference after it is healed. You may even forget you ever lost a tooth in the first place.
A person’s self esteem is definitely affected by their smile. Perhaps you hide your smile because of spaces from missing teeth. Maybe your dentures don’t feel secure. Perhaps you have difficulty chewing. If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to smile, speak and eat again with comfort and confidence, there is good news! Dental implants are teeth that can look and feel just like your own! Under proper conditions dental implants can last a lifetime. Long-term studies continue to show improving success rates for dental implants.
Dental Implants And Their Advantages Over Traditional Dentistry
When done properly dental implants will look and feel like your own teeth. Another plus is that since dental implants are placed directly in bone they prevent bone loss and gingival recession that happens over time in areas where teeth are missing. No one but you and your dentist will ever know you have a dental implant.
Dental Implants Allow Conservation Of Tooth Structure
Dental implants allow the dentist to save your adjacent teeth from preparations. A traditional bridge requires the preparation of neighboring teeth. Utilizing dental implants is a long-term benefit to the patient’s dental health by saving their natural tooth structure.
The wonder of dental implants is that they allow patients to talk and eat with self confidence. Dental implants offer security and freedom.
Dental implants have had a long track record of a very high success rate. Due to this they are an excellent option for tooth replacement.
Expectations Of Patient
Following placement of implants and restoration with crowns or dentures, patients can expect a life-long restoration that will be stable and cosmetic. Just because these products are man-made does not mean oral hygiene should be forgotten and neglected. Dental hygiene must be maintained at a high level if the patient wants to ensure these restorations last. Follow-up dental visits are required just as if you had your own natural teeth. If dental implants are well taken care of the patient should expect them to last a lifetime!
If you have lost a tooth or are facing tooth loss, you might wonder – “Can I get dental implants?”
Ask your dentist. More often than not the answer is yes!
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