Dental implants have become a safe, predictable and common way to replace one or more missing teeth. Millions of dental implants are placed world-wide every year, and the demand for this service is increasing. Dental implants are routinely placed in this office and are available for you without the need to travel great distances.
Most dental implants placed today are root form endosseous implants. This term means that the implant itself has a shape and size roughly similar to a tooth root (“root form”) and is placed within the jaw bone (endosseous = “in the bone”). In a sense, the dental implant replaces the root or roots of a missing tooth, allowing any of a number of different tooth-related devices (crown, bridge, or denture) to be anchored to it.
For replacement of a single tooth, the procedure most commonly involves three components:
Less common but also effective are one-piece implants (implant and abutment are a single piece) and screw-retained crowns or bridges on implants.
Most dental implants are made of commercially pure titanium which is modified at the surface by sandblasting, etching, plasma spraying or anodizing. After a very precise hole is tapped into the bone (often with the aid of a surgical guide), the implant itself is screwed into the bone at a very slow speed (about 15 rpm, or one revolution every four seconds). The precise position and angle of the implant is dictated by the prosthetic requirement that will follow. Nearby anatomical structures (such as the maxillary sinus and the mandibular nerve canal) must also be considered. Implant success requires that there be sufficient bone of good quality. Occasionally, bone must be grafted, either before implant placement or at the time of implant placement. It is often possible to place an implant directly into the socket immediately following extraction of the tooth. Bone can then be grafted around the implant to fill in any leftover spaces.
The concept of using titanium for dental implants was first considered in 1952 by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per Branemark. Dr. Branemark, while studying bone healing, placed small pieces of titanium in the leg bones of laboratory rabbits. When he attempted to remove the titanium pieces several months later, he found that he couldn’t. The bone had become fused or “integrated” with the titanium. This had not been anticipated. This unique interaction between bone and titanium, referred to now as “integration”, ultimately lead to the modern dental implant.
Implants have a very high success rate. In healthy non-smokers, the success rates may be as high as 98% in the lower jaw and 95% in the upper jaw. Most patients experience little or no pain immediately following implant placement. That is because there are very few nerve endings in the cancellous part of the bone, where the implant is placed.
Today, the dental implant is considered a safe, predictable and proven procedure. Often it is now considered the preferred treatment for the replacement of a missing tooth or teeth.
Do you need a tooth or multiple missing teeth replaced? Call our Spooner, WI office today at (715) 635-7888 to schedule your consultation!