Dental Implants: An Old Method Saves Today’s Teeth
Dental implants are not as new as some people think. The concept has been around for quite a long time. History shows evidence of forms of dental implants all the way back to the Mayan civilization, over 1,400 years ago. The neat thing about these early implants is that they used hard materials that were common to them. Gems, minerals, and even seashells were used. Some of these early implants even showed fusion with the jawbone.
Now that we have the fun facts out of the way, let’s get to a more modern version of a very early idea. Modern dental implants have been around in some form or fashion since the 1970s. The concept behind why they are so successful, however, comes out of the 1950s. That was when a Swedish surgeon and researcher, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, found that he was unable to remove an implanted titanium chamber from a rabbit. He was using the titanium to study how blood flow affected the healing of bones. He wanted to see how well the rabbit’s bone had healed but found that the titanium had fused with the bone. He called this process osseointegration, and it’s unique to titanium.
This is the reason that dental implants are so effective. They fuse with the bone to give them a uniquely stable foundation, as opposed to dentures that rely on adhesion to your gum tissue.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are for all intents and purposes replacement teeth. Now, we all know that it is not quite that simple, but let’s start small. A dental implant is an anchor that is gently placed inside your jawbone to act in the same way the root of a real tooth would. Once the anchor is placed, a replacement tooth is attached to the anchor to perform the same function of the tooth that it replaced.
Performing a dental implant procedure is a special task. Extensive training goes into qualifying dentists for this procedure, training that extends far beyond what’s received in dental school. That’s why there are now special institutes and societies that were set up to help dentists master the latest techniques for dental implants. The International Congress of Oral Implantologists, ICOI, of which Dr. Duffield is a member, is an example of this. This organization allows dentists involved in implantology to learn new information and share what they have learned. It helps keep everyone ahead of new trends and techniques that are useful to patients.
Why Do They Work?
Dental implants have a 98% effectiveness rating. The reason for this is the osseointegration that we talked about earlier. The implant fuses with the bone. In other words, it becomes a part of the bone structure that it is implanted in. This allows the implant the unique opportunity to act in same way that an actual tooth root would. The implant also keeps the bone underneath from deteriorating like it would if the space was left open. This lack of deterioration is a major contributor to the success rate of dental implants.
Just like a house is only as good as its foundation, this sturdy foundation makes the implant just as reliable as your real tooth. You can eat everything that you normally would eat without the worry that your implant will shift. You take care of your implants in the same way you would your real teeth. There truly is no difference.
Nature does not make mistakes. Our teeth are the perfect tool for what they do. If you lose them, there is no better replacement than something that is going to be just as stable and fulfill the exact same functions.
What Are The Advantages Of Dental Implants?
Appearance – Dental implants are the closest option that you will find to your real tooth roots. When the replacement tooth is fixed to the implant, their resemblance to natural teeth is uncanny. Many people won’t be able to tell you have an implant unless you tell them. This is because the restorations are custom-made to match the appropriate shape of the teeth they are replacing. They are also made to match the color of the other remaining teeth around them.
Function – Dental implants function in the same way that real teeth do. This means that you don’t have to avoid chewing with them. You don’t have to adjust your bite to account for them. You can eat just like you did before the implants. Dental implants will work just like your real teeth.
Durability – With proper care, it is not uncommon for your dental implants to last you the rest of your life. This means that you simply need to keep up your oral hygiene (brushing, flossing, mouthwash), and continue with your regular dental exams and cleanings. Do this, and your implants will last you for years to come.
Dental implants may be the answer for you. Give us a call at our Royal Oak, MI office to find out how we can help. You can reach us at 248-721-4502. We can’t wait to hear from you.