What Are Dental Implants?
Do you have missing teeth? Are you ready to trade in your dentures or bridges for a more permanent solution? Dental implants could be the solution you’re looking for.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is implanted into the bone in the place of a natural tooth. It is an ideal option to tooth loss from injury or periodontal disease.
How Dental Implants are Created
There are three parts to a dental implant: the titanium fixture, the abutment, and the restoration.
This screw-shaped piece is surgically implanted into the jawbone and is left there for period of time to heal. Depending on the condition, the healing process could take weeks to months complete. This is what triggers the process called osseointegration.
The abutment is shaped somewhat like a thimble and caps the implant fixture. After the bone around the titanium fixture has healed, the abutment is affixed to the top of the fixture. The gums are then left to heal around it and secure it to the jaw.
The restoration is a crown that is created in-lab and customized for your mouth. It can be shaped and colored to match the rest of your teeth. Once this is in place, your dental implant is complete.
What is Osseointegration?
Osseointegration is the main reason implants have been so successful. It is a fusion process wherein the titanium in the implant bonds with the human bone. Unlike denture and bridges, this is what makes dental implants so durable and long-lasting.
Osseointegration also helps the jawbone to deal with the loss of the original tooth. Without this type of bond, it can be difficult for the bone to heal, resulting in a weakened jawbone, more tooth loss, hollowing of the checks, and other signs of premature aging.
While primitive dental implants have been around for centuries, osseointegration is relatively new, being discovered accidentally in the late 1950s by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. He applied this new knowledge to the dental and became known as the “father of modern implantology.”