A few decades ago, patients who had experienced tooth loss gained the opportunity to choose a revolutionary treatment that provides a structurally complete tooth replacement. The dental implant represents a significant advance in tooth replacement technology, which had previously focused only on the tooth’s visible crown portion.
The biological phenomenon behind dental implants—titanium’s ability to fuse with bone—was discovered quite accidentally by a Swedish scientist, but it provided the valuable foundation of today’s implant technology.
The implant itself is a screw-shaped piece of titanium that is surgically inserted into the jaw. Over the course of several months, the implant fuses with the jaw, becoming a fixture in the bone. The implant is loaded with a prosthetic crown, or multiple implants can be used to support a dental bridge or a denture.
Dental implants offer patients a number of advantages over other tooth replacement appliances. Because implants are root-like structures, they help to preserve the jawbone, which typically erodes after tooth loss.
Because dental implants are linked to the jaw, they also are more effective at chewing than a bridge or denture would be. Also, dental implants do not require support from adjacent teeth. This reduces the patient’s chances of further tooth loss, and it makes it easier to care for dental implants.
The implant does need sufficient bone material to support osseointegration, so our oral surgeon will carefully evaluate your case to be sure that you are a good candidate for the procedure. If you have experienced extensive bone loss, the oral surgeon may recommend a preliminary bone graft to improve your chances of implant success during oral surgery.
The technology behind dental implant design is constantly evolving, as are the surgical techniques used in placing them. Our oral surgeons keep updated on all of these changes in order to give our patients the most innovative care available.
If you are considering dental implants after tooth loss, talk to one of our oral surgeons to learn more about the procedure and its outcomes. We can even show you before and after photos of patients with cases similar to yours.