Early Attempts at Replacing the Roots of Teeth
The notion of replacing lost root structure is not new but previous attempts at replacing the roots of teeth were ineffective because of the materials used. Early attempts to address the loss of a total tooth utilized bone, precious metals, and even ivory. Unfortunately, these materials were not biocompatible, thus resulting in an unstable prosthetics. Over time, however, the idea of replacing a missing tooth’s root system was revisited when titanium was discovered as a biocompatible metal.
The Discovery of Osseointegration
The concept of osseointegration and the discovery that titanium was compatible as a replacement for lost hard tissue was a milestone in the development of modern dental implants. Osseointegration is a process where hard tissue like bone literally integrates to titanium prosthetics. Today, titanium is used in spinal implants, hip implants, and as dental implants to replace the missing roots of teeth.
Once the body has stabilized a titanium implant, the smile restoration process is completed with the attachment of a prosthetic crown or bridge. These restorations fill in the gaps of a smile, provide a sturdy biting surface for oral function, and support adjacent biological teeth.
Dental implants mean that a person can eat their favorite foods, enjoy a complete, natural looking smile, and have prosthetics that support all components of the oral health system.
Candidacy for Dental Implants
If you have lost one or more teeth, you should consider dental implants as a tooth replacement option. Ideal candidates for implants should not smoke, have no indicators of gum disease, and be healthy enough for minor oral surgery.
To find out if dental implants are right for you, call our office to reserve a consultation with one of our skilled oral surgeons.