Modern Dental Implants are essential, a hollow Titanium Alloy screw, that is inserted into the jaw bone to act as an artificial root for a tooth. They are hollow because after they get placed in patients’ mouths, a tooth-like structure i.e. a crown gets inserted into them. Typically, when a tooth is missing for any reason, dental implants can be considered as a treatment choice. Though no treatment can have guaranteed results in medical/dental fields, in recent years, especially the past two decades, dental implants have proven to be one of the most successful treatment options in dentistry for tooth replacement. Many studies have reported success rates of 90% or more in 5 to 10 years after placement. Implants technology, now, has made great advances that they can be used in extensive therapies such as full mouth reconstruction on patients who are missing all their teeth where just a few implants in each arch can support a complete set of artificial teeth that walk, talk, look and function like the real deal.
A bit of history:
There are some historic reports that dental implants have been around for thousands of years. Some indicate, that Egyptians, used seashells or stones shaped like teeth that they would insert into people’s jaws. Around the 1930s, archaeological excavations in Honduras revealed that the Mayan civilization had known examples of dental implants, dating from about 600 AD when a fragment of the mandible with implants was found. The specimen had three pieces of shells carved into tooth shapes placed into the sockets of three missing lower incisor teeth. In the middle ages, teeth from other people and animals were placed inside patients’ jaws. For obvious reasons, that resulted in many adverse events such as infections.
An Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Branemark, in the 1960’s, Sweden, found out that when he places Titanium screws inside rabbit leg bones, they do not die or get infected. In fact, after a while, when he goes back to retrieve them, he realizes that screws have been fused to the bone. That’s when he decides to places these screws in jaws of four human volunteers, which prove successful too. And that’s how present times implants come to existence.
Dental Implants have had exponential growth since their early days of marketing in the ’70s worldwide. Some statistics show that, presently, about one billion dental implants are sold to doctors and health care facilities across the globe. This could be due to the proven track record for their success as a treatment option. One reason that helps dental implants be successful is the fact that they are made out of grade four, commercially pure Titanium or alloy that are both very strong and corrosion resistance which fit well inside the fluid-filled environment of the human body.
Types of implants:
Implants can be categorized based on so many different factors such as surface treatment (coating the surface of implants with material that help its integration into bone or roughening its surface to increase the surface area for bone integration or both), their shape (cylindrical, tapered), platform switch or shift (whether or not the tooth that will ultimately go on top of the implant has the same diameter as the implant or is it smaller), the aggressiveness of the implants outside threads (the wingspan of each thread and their proximity to one another), the internal design where the tooth part (the crown) gets screwed/inserted in, the collar (top part of the implant) treatment (can be smoothed, treated, laser locked, etc), and more.
Just like any treatment in the medical/dental world, though very successful, implants are not perfect or the best choice for everyone. The best thing to do is to get evaluated by your dentist and see what are the benefits and risks that may be applicable to your specific case. For example, overall health of the patient, some medical conditions, tobacco use, the adjacent vital anatomical structure, and amount of bone in the jaw where the implant is going to be placed are some of the factors your dentist would take under consideration and discuss as part of the decision making process for this treatment.
What to do next:
Contact us at Happy Smiles Dental for a complimentary second opinion and consult or talk to your dentist.
We are conveniently located in Clarksburg/Urbana Maryland.