Dental implants are unique among tooth replacement appliances because they fill in for the absent root as well as the crown. This is possible due to the biocompatibility of titanium, which is the metal used to make the tiny cylinders placed into the jaw by an oral surgeon. The bone tissue in the jaw has an affinity for the titanium and is able to form a strong bond with it, leaving the dental implant as a permanent fixture in the jaw after osseointegration is complete.
The foundation of implant dentistry actually was established by an accidental discovery in an experiment unrelated to oral health. In the 1950s, a Swedish physician named Per-Ingvar Branemark was studying the healing properties of bone tissue when he noticed that a titanium chamber inserted into a rabbit’s leg could not be extracted again after a certain period of time. Eventually, Branemark transformed that discovery into the earliest modern dental implant.
Due to the nature of osseointegration, the main predictor of long-term dental implant success is the quality of bone at the targeted implant site. Therefore, the oral surgeon will thoroughly assess the integrity of your jawbone prior to proceeding with implant placement. If you have already lost bone or have inadequate bone tissue due to a congenital defect, a preliminary bone graft may be needed in your case.
Patients who are good candidates for dental implant placement benefit from many aspects of this treatment. Dental implants prevent jawbone atrophy, which unfolds after a missing tooth’s root is no longer available to serve as an anchor. Additionally, dental implants can stand alone without compromising adjacent teeth, and implant-supported appliances are more effective at chewing because the tie to the bone helps them withstand fairly strong chewing forces.
Titanium dental implants offer patients a reliable, predictable treatment solution for tooth loss. To learn more about the advantages of dental implants and explore whether this intervention might be a good fit for you, schedule an evaluation with our team at Central Oklahoma Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates.