A Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark invented the original dental implant in 1952. Today, they are the gold standard for prosthetic replacement of missing teeth.
Dental implant surgery replaces the tooth root with a metal screw-like post, and damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function like natural ones. Dental implants are stable, don’t shift or make noise, and are an excellent alternative to dentures or bridgework.
Like natural teeth, a dental implant stands independently without affecting the neighboring teeth. The fusion process – “osseointegration” – between the dental implant and jawbone gives stability, while the titanium construction allows the implant to integrate with the jawbone without being rejected by the body as a foreign object.
Today, technology and science are responsible for a 98% success rate in dental implant placements.
Among the three common dental replacement techniques – removable appliance (complete or partial dentures), a fixed dental bridge, and dental implants, the last has the fewest disadvantages.
Your dentist might recommend dental implants if:
Deciding on a suitable option depends on many factors:
Historically two different types of dental implants were used:
Endosteal referring to an implant “in the bone,” and Subperiosteal, referring to one that rested on top of the jawbone under the gum tissue. Subperiosteal implants are not used nowadays because of their unsatisfactory results and long-term performance.
All-On-4 technique – by implant manufacturer Nobel Biocare – is used if all teeth are lost due to decay or gum disease. Just four implants support a denture prosthesis to replace all teeth in a single arch (upper or lower). This is a tooth replacement that is permanent, stable, and feels natural compared to traditional (removable) complete dentures.
Dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure performed over many months to allow healing between stages and new bone growth in the jaw.
The dentist examines the site and it’s health and suitability for surgery visually and via imaging technology (scans, X-rays, etc.) to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. If he decides to proceed:
You may experience some typical discomforts associated with any type of dental surgery:
If side effects become worse and do not subside, contact your surgeon right away. They may need to prescribe pain medication or antibiotics.
As with any surgery, there are always some risks and side effects for the patient or for the procedure.
Careful prior consultation and planning with a qualified oral surgeon is critical to ensure that a patient is a good candidate and healthy enough to undergo oral surgery and heal properly.
It is usually possible to make another attempt to replace a failed dental implant, after healing has taken place.
Good oral hygiene and routine maintenance care at home and at the dental office are critical. As are follow-up visits to the dental office.
Just as with natural teeth, keep implants, artificial teeth, and gum tissue clean. Specially designed interdental toothbrushes slide in between to clean the tiny spaces around teeth, gums and metal posts, to remove food debris and prevent plaque.
Schedule regular dental checkups to ensure the health and proper functioning of your implants. The surgeon will examine surrounding soft and hard tissues, and use special tools to remove any calcified deposits around the implant. He will check and adjust your bite to ensure that the implant is free from inappropriate biting force.
Seek treatment if you grind your teeth. This is a condition known as bruxism, that can cause great damage to real or artificial teeth.
Avoid eating habits that can damage your implant. Don’t chew on hard foods like ice and candy, which can crack your crowns. Avoid tobacco and caffeine products that can stain your teeth.
If you think you are a candidate for teeth implants or need more info, contact Dr. Ernie Soto in Plantation, Florida. Dr. Soto specializes in all forms of cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry, and focuses on a pain-free approach. Call (954) 368-6264 to schedule an appointment.