What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a permanent solution for lost and damaged teeth. The implants are used as an anchor, permanently fixed into the jaw and are not removable. The dental implants themselves are affixed to the jaw or remaining tooth root using a screw and abutment that the prosthesis will be affixed to. The prosthesis can be a full or partial replacement of a tooth, or multiple teeth, that have been damaged or lost. The prosthesis can either be permanently affixed to the implants or be removable. The implants themselves can’t be removed.

Dental implants are done in such a way as to encourage the process of osseointegration, which encourages a biological fusion with bone. Once the screw and abutment have been surgically implanted as an anchor, the prosthesis is glued onto this anchor. In the case of a removable prosthesis, dental cement is not required. If a bridge is required to replace multiple teeth, more dental implant screws will be required as is needed to hold the prosthesis.

The screw or post which is implanted into the patients jaw or the root of the tooth is generally made of titanium. Titanium is strong and lightweight and will fuse with the jawbone. The crown is the visible portion attached to the implant and is made of porcelain fused to metal. The colour of which will be matched to the surrounding teeth to ensure a natural look. The crown will be custom made and fitted to exact specifications. Once the titanium screw is in place the crown will be affixed to it using dental cement. On advice of the dentist, the bridge or crown may be removable and therefore no dental cement is used. Once the implants have fused with the bone, they can support the pressure and workload of the jaw for years without problems.

Dental implants also have a very high success rate, with a very low rejection rate. There is evidence that people have been experimenting with implants for hundreds of years. It wasn’t until 1965 that the first titanium implant was attempted. Since then, dental advances and techniques have improved to what they are today. Dental implants have been done like this for many years now, are virtually undetectable and function as the teeth they have replaced. Implants have been creating many wonderful smiles while also restoring full function of the mouth and jaw for countless people the world over.