Dental implants provide a wonderful solution for missing teeth – the use of titanium actually originates back to a discovery from the 1950’s. A Swedish scientist was experimenting with fusing metals in the leg of a rabbit. When a titanium rod was impossible to retrieve as bone had fused to this metal so thoroughly, further experimentation led to the use of titanium in dental implants.
Today titanium is the metal of choice for dental implants:
- Fusion – Bone fuses best to titanium allowing the dental implant to become a permanent part of the dental anatomy. This has been coined as osseointegration.
- Rejection – Studies have shown titanium is less likely to be rejected by the body.
- Endurance – The implant itself has been proven to last a lifetime.
The dental implant process begins with a consultation with the dentist. A discussion about overall health is followed by a very thorough dental exam. X-rays are taken to determine bone strength in the jaw where the implant is to be placed. Insufficient bone does not automatically eliminate the patient as a candidate … there are procedures where bone can be augmented where needed.
The implant is surgically embedded in the gum where the tooth is needed. The patient will be required to keep the surgical area clean; if infection occurs, the implant may fail.
Tobacco use in any form is forbidden; this is another leading cause of implant failure.
While the surgical area is healing, bone is merging with the titanium implant. Over time that little titanium post will become part of the jaw. Eventually an abutment will be attached to the implant that will allow a final restoration to be affixed.
Your dentist will have that final restoration made to match surrounding teeth in size, shape, and shade. On seat day, it will be tried in for fit and function. Small adjustments can be made at this time, if needed.
Once your dentist has bonded the restoration to the implant, you are free to enjoy all the foods you love; smile and laugh without worrying if your new tooth is going to slip or move; and you can enjoy the rest of your life speaking with clarity that perhaps wasn’t possible due to tooth loss.
Dental implants can enhance your life by restoring lost or never developed dentition … it starts with a consultation with your dentist.