A natural tooth consists of a crown (the part you see above the gum), and the root (the part hidden under the gum). It is the root in the jawbone that actually holds the natural tooth in place. A dental implant is a small titanium fixture that serves as a replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Titanium is used because it is most compatible with our human body. The dental implant is placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw and functions as an anchor for the replacement tooth.
Implants provide additional support where teeth are missing without putting forces onto remaining natural teeth. They may be used to support the replacement of a single missing tooth or a complete functional set for individuals who have lost many or all of their teeth.
Osseointegrated dental implants are the state of the art in modern dentistry. They are small titanium "fixtures" that take the place of the natural root of the tooth. Gently implanted into the bone, using local anesthesia, these very tiny titanium roots actually bond or integrate with a patient's bone, more securely than natural root would. Most often, the osseointegrated implant is more stable than a natural tooth's root. Upon these implants, a prosthodontist can build permanent teeth, custom designed and shaded to aesthetically suit each patient's distinctive facial requirements.
Sophisticated research for more than three decades has recognized titanium for its biological compatibility with the human body. Studies have shown that the earliest patients treated with these modern osseointegrated implants continue to enjoy healthy, stable smiles.
Nearly all implant procedures are performed with local anesthesia in a comfortable dental chair. No pain is felt during the surgical procedures. With the advent of new generation of single piece implants like KOS implants, there is no swelling or tenderness following the surgery.
Dental implant patients range from age nine to 99. A single congenitally missing tooth can dramatically change the life of a child; the replacement of dentures in an older patient can make the golden years more fulfilling, and considerably gentler to both the digestive tract and the cardiovascular system. Generally, only patients with rare blood diseases, leukemia, or patients being treated with chemotherapy are contraindicated. Patients who have successfully undergone cancer therapy and received permission from their oncologist may benefit from implant treatment.
With the advent of new generation implants like basal implants, now smokers and diabetic patients can also undergo implants and enjoy the benefits of teeth fixed.
Just as with any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Anesthesia and patient sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort at the time of the procedure. Most patients report that there is very little discomfort and that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they anticipated. For patients who prefer to be asleep during dental implant surgery, this option is available at our Dental Implant Center. Your doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur.
A Swedish professor named Per-Ingvar Brånemark made the first big stride towards today’s dental implant procedures (known as oral implantology). In 1951, this orthopedic surgeon came across the concept quite by accident.
Professor Brånemark and his research team were studying microscopic aspects of the bones’ healing process in lab at the University of Lund. During one of their experiments, a titanium metal cylinder was screwed into the thighbone of an animal test subject.
As it would turn out, perhaps their most important discovery was not made until after the initial experiment was wrapped up. Upon further examination of the bone and metal cylinder, Professor Brånemark observed something surprising: the metal cylinder had fused with the bone.
It didn’t take long to realize the enormous potential of this technique. Dr. Brånemark began focusing on how he could use osseointegration, which is what he named the phenomenon, to help humans. During his studies, he found that titanium screws could serve as bone anchors for teeth.
Titanium, researchers came to realize, this was the only consistently successful material for dental implants. Before Dr. Brånemark’s work, other doctors had been toying with the idea of dental implants for years. A host of other metals, including silver and gold, had failed. Even human teeth (from donors) were tried.
Dr. Brånemark continued his studies for nearly three decades. His fellow scientists were skeptical, so he conducted numerous tests, including some on humans, before he published his findings in 1981.
After scientific scrutiny of the paper, medical confidence in the procedure grew. Guidelines for implantology were set during the Toronto Conference in Clinical Dentistry in 1982. The public began to accept that dental implants were safe. The standardization of the process during the conference proved to be the jumpstart the dental implant needed.
Father of Modern Implant Dentistry
In 1952, Dr. Leonard Linkow planted his very first dental implant several months after he marked off from dental school. Dr. Linkow placed more than 19,000 implants by 1992; he stopped counting by then. In 2002, he left private practice, putting down loads of work and masterpieces including 36 patents and 12 books. Since then, a lot of implant dentists regarded Dr. Linkow as the foremost father of the modern-day implant dentistry.
Stefano Melchiade Tramonte, an Italian doctor conducted various studies and researches, and then fully understood the usage of titanium in dental restorations. He designed a titanium screw in order to support his very own dental prosthesis. In 1959, he began to use titanium screw on his patients right in his own clinic. Certainly, the excellent outcome of Tramonte’s clinical studies was published.
Commercial oral implantology grew during the 1980s. Osseointegration was being used to permanently affix bridges and individual teeth into patients’ mouths. The implants proved to be successful in over 90% of the cases. The modern dental implant had arrived!
Era of immediate implantology – BASAL IMPLANTS
Basal implants were developed and improved in several stages, primarily by French and German dentists. The first single-piece implant was developed and used by Dr. Jean-Marc Julliet in 1972. His design was available in two sizes and has been in use, unchanged, until this very day. It was not until the mid-1980s that Dr. Gerard Scortecci, dental implantologist on course, presented an improved basal implant system. Since approximately the mid-1990s, Dr. Stefan Ihde developed new implant types and more appropriate tools, as well as practical accessories, based on the Diskimplant systems then available. These efforts then gave rise to the development of the modern Basal implant. Today’s Basal implant system is the best basal implant system currently available.
Today dental implant is the most advanced and most natural way of replacing teeth. By placing implant we are replacing the complete tooth with its root.
To make a bridge for 1 missing tooth, the 2 adjacent teeth should be drilled down to half the size. This is a destructive process and results in tooth sensitivity and decay on those 2 teeth. In reality 2 healthy teeth are destroyed to replace one missing tooth. The final restoration is a 3 tooth bridge that connects one drilled down tooth to another, with one artificial tooth in the middle. Using dental implant technology, the same missing tooth can be easily replaced with one dental implant, and without any damage to any other teeth in the mouth. The restored implant tooth is individually supported and is not connected to adjacent teeth.
Dentures are also associated with numerous problems. They are bulky, and unstable in the mouth. Because they constantly move during chewing, they are inefficient in masticating solid foods. People using dentures are forced to limit their diet to soft food. They avoid vegetables, fruits, nuts, meat and other essential nutrients that are important for their health and well being. This results in systemic disorders such as digestive and cardiovascular disease.
Before and after images of Dental Implants
Because dentures are bulky and cover a lot of surfaces in the mouth, including the palate (roof of the mouth), they interfere with speech and block the sensation of taste. Dentures often have a clicking sound during chewing which may be embarrassing for people who have them.
People wearing dentures should remove them from their mouth after each use to clean them. This reminds them every day that they have artificial teeth. The emotional and psychological impact of this is profound. Use of denture adhesives to hold dentures in the mouth is quite uncomfortable and has an adverse physical and psychological impact.
These are some of the problems associated with dentures, but by far the most serious problem is facial bone loss and premature aging. This bone loss results in collapse of facial structures, and make the person look much older.
THE ADVANTAGES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS:
Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth! Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often accompany bridgework and dentures. No one will ever know that you have a replacement tooth.
Dental implants don't sacrifice the quality of your adjacent teeth like a bridge does because neighboring teeth are not altered to support the implant. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health!
The success rate of dental implants is highly predictable. They are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement.
Treatment Plan Flexibility:
Dental implants enable more flexibility in planning a treatment plan than bridges. As a matter of fact, in many cases only implants can be used and bridges are not an option! Example - when a few teeth are missing in the same site.
A permanent solution to tooth loss is offered with dental implants, which have a life expectancy of many years (life long). Implants bond to the jaw bone and become part of it - this connection is as strong as a natural tooth root. Using a bridge relies on the side forces applied on the adjacent teeth and on the bridge's structure. When using a bridge vs dental implants, you support your structure on natural teeth that are still vulnerable to decay and other diseases, implants on the other hand cannot develop any diseases since they are made of titanium.
Jaw Bone Resorbtion:
Treatment with a dental implant involves placing implants in areas where there are no teeth and by so doing, the bone area is stimulated again and this prevents long term bone loss in that area. If a bridge that connects 2 teeth is used instead of a dental implant, pressure is not applied on the jaw bone! Therefore the bone is not stimulated and begins to shrink away.
Dental implants will allow you to once again speak and eat with comfort and confidence! They are secure and offer freedom from the irksome clicks and wobbles of dentures. They'll allow you to say goodbye to worries about misplaced dentures and messy pastes and glues.
The average denture patient with an excellent fitting denture eats at 15-20% efficiency when compared to a person with natural teeth. As the jawbone shrinks, your chewing efficiency is reduced even more, making it difficult to eat certain foods. Dental implants can restore chewing efficiency comparable to that of natural teeth.This allows you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain, enjoy what everyone is eating and not think twice about it. A full upper denture covers the palate of the mouth and reduces the ability to taste foods. With dental implants, you can have the palate removed from your upper denture so you can taste and enjoy your food.