Dental implants represent a remarkable advance in tooth replacement technology because they are the first devices to offer a structurally complete prosthetic consisting of both a root-like structure and an artificial crown. This is possible because dental implants are made of titanium, which is a biocompatible metal. That means that human bone is capable of forming a strong bond with titanium.
In the case of dental implants, the jawbone fuses with a titanium dental implant over the course of several months after an oral surgeon inserts the implant in the patient’s jaw. This osseointegration process leaves the implant as a permanent fixture in the jaw, allowing it to function quite similarly to a natural tooth’s root.
Interestingly, the discovery that made modern dental implants possible was not even uncovered by an oral surgeon. A Swedish orthopedist was studying the healing properties of bone after surgery when he accidentally discovered that a titanium rod inserted in a rabbit’s ear could not be removed again after a certain period of time.
Of course, in order for dental implants to offer maximum benefits, patients who receive them must have adequate bone tissue to support osseointegration. Bone loss can occur following tooth loss, especially if a significant length of time has passed since the tooth was lost. Patients who have suffered bone loss may not be immediate candidates for dental implant placement, but they can improve their chances of dental implant success by undergoing a preliminary bone graft to gain supplemental bone at the implant site.
Titanium dental implants offer patients a number of benefits in comparison to conventional tooth replacement appliances. They have minimal impact on surrounding teeth. They preserve jawbone integrity and prevent bone loss. They also tend to be more effective at chewing, so patients who choose dental implants can continue to enjoy their favorite foods.
Contact our office to learn more about the design and benefits of titanium dental implants. Our knowledgeable staff members will be happy to answer any specific questions that you have.