What are Dental Implants?
Replicating the natural function and appearance of your lost teeth can be very difficult to accomplish. Historically, dentures or bridge restorations would be used as replacements, but with limited results. Dental implants, however, are natural-looking replacements for missing teeth that also provide the same function as your natural tooth root. They have also been used to anchor these other types of restorations for greater success and patient satisfaction.
A More Natural Approach
A dental implant is a small, sturdy, titanium post that acts as the root structure would for a natural tooth. A dental implant is placed into your upper or lower jaw bone. After the bone has grown around the implant, implants can hold a crown, bridge or over-denture just like roots hold natural teeth in place. Implants are very durable and can last a lifetime. They require the same maintenance as natural teeth; this includes brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups.
A single tooth or a full arch of teeth which have been lost due to injury or disease can be replaced with dental implants. Titanium metal is used because of its compatibility with bone and oral tissues.
Dental Implant History
Dental Implants were developed in 1952, in a laboratory in the university town of Lund, Sweden by Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark, who had a “lucky” accident during bone grafting research. Much to his dismay, Dr. Brånemark discovered that it was impossible to recover any of the bone-anchored titanium microscopes he was using. The titanium plate had apparently bonded irreversibly to living bone tissue, an observation which contradicted all scientific theory at the time.
Dr. Brånemark went on to demonstrate that under carefully controlled conditions, titanium could be structurally integrated into living bone with a very high degree of predictability, and without long-term soft tissue inflammation or rejection. Brånemark coined the name “osseointegration,” meaning the attachment of healthy bone to a titanium implant.
Thus dental implants were born and the first application of dental osseointegration was the implantation of new titanium roots in an edentulous (toothless) patient in 1965. Dental implants have shown a 90 percent success rate and long-term studies continue to show improving success.
Reasons you may want to consider dental implants:
- To replace one or more teeth
- To provide support for a partial denture
- To increase the support and stability of full upper or lower denture
- To enhance chewing comfort
- To increase confidence while smiling, talking and eating
- To improve your overall psychological health
- To improve esthetic appearance and regain over all confidence
In 1952, the first dental implants were developed and since that time technology has taken leaps and bounds to give us the most modern solution for missing teeth. Dental implants restore optimum oral health, as well as confidence and hope to those who have suffered tooth loss.