Keeping your teeth healthy requires taking several precautions. In preventive dentistry, these precautions are often recommended to prevent gum disease, cavities and other dental issues. However, outside these precautionary measures, some other dental procedures are commonly used to improve dental health. One of these procedures is the use of dental implants.
Invented in 1952 by Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, dental implants are surgical fixtures that are placed into the jawbone. After placing the implant, it is then allowed to fuse with the bone for a few months.
At the fundamental level, the dental implant is supposed to replace the root of a missing tooth. This implies that an implant primarily serves to hold a replacement tooth or a bridge. Dental implants closely mimic natural tooth as they can stand on their own without affecting the other teeth around them.
In case of a missing tooth, a dental implant is used as a replacement tooth or bridge. The infusion of a dental implant to the jawbone is the closest simulation of a natural tooth, especially considering the high level of stability of the implant after the process. This fusion process is referred to as osseointegration.
Dental implants are mostly made of titanium. This is why they can be easily integrated with bones without being flagged as a foreign object by the body. Currently, the success rate of dental implants is at about 98%, and this keeps improving with newer advancements on implants and procedures.
Types Of Dental Implants
There are two major types of implants available:
Endosteal implants refer to an implant in the bone. A subperiosteal is a dental implant that rests under the gum tissue but just on top of the jawbone. However, subperiosteal implants are no longer used due to the fact that they have poor results in the long-term compared to endosteal implants.
When Do You Use Dental Implants?
Although dental implants are primarily used in teeth replacement, there are certain areas where they can be used as support therapy options in other dental procedures. For instance, considering that dental implants are relatively stable, they can be used to support removable dentures and provide a more comfortable and secure fit.
Also, in orthodontic procedures, dental mini-implants can be used as temporary anchorage devices. These devices help move teeth to the desired position. Due to the small size of mini-implants, they can be temporarily fixed to the bone to provide some anchorage for teeth movement, after which they are removed.
Patients who have cases of tooth decay or gum disease can also use certain types of dental implants. In these instances, the implants are strategically placed, and a thin denture prosthesis is then screwed into place.
In conclusion, dental implants are fantastic advancements in dentistry. Apart from offering a more extensive range of treatment options to some major dental conditions, they also offer patients a chance to conveniently replace one or more teeth with an assurance of long-term stability.