What are Dental Implants?
For teeth that are lost or damaged beyond repair, modern dental implants can provide a permanent replacement that maintain the look, feel, and function of natural teeth. Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved they can smile with confidence.
While the placement of dental implants was attempted for many decades in the twentieth century, it was not until the 1950’s that discoveries were made that laid the foundation for modern reconstructive surgery.
Professor Per-Ingvar Branemark was perhaps the most important figure in the advancement of implant dentistry. His significant breakthrough, in the 1950’s, was the discovery that bone can integrate with titanium components. That is, living bone could become so fused with the titanium oxide layer of an implant that the two could not be separated without fracture. This process, whereby nature allows the attachment of bone cells to the titanium surface became known as “osseointegration.”
As a result of studying the osseointegration process, scientists developed dental implants, which are simply small titanium cylinders placed into the jawbone to support replacement teeth. These titanium implants fuse with your bone and provide a permanent anchorage for a prosthetic reconstruction which looks and feels like a natural tooth. Worldwide more than 800,000 patients have been treated since 1965 with dental implant reconstructions.
What are the Benefits?
- The first thing you must do is go to the dentist. Not just every now and again when something hurts or breaks but on a regular basis. Once or twice a year is a minimum. My regular patients rarely have major disasters.
- People neglect their teeth for all sorts of reasons. While cost is often given as the reason, fear, time and embarrassment are just as common.
- Bad teeth are embarrassing for many people. Over the years I have watched people get a new lease on life from having a smile make-over.