Our way of life dictates that missing teeth should be replaced and tooth problems addressed in one way or another as part of general health.
Total and partial removable dentures restore a certain degree of function and aesthetics, but their stability remains a problem. With advancements in both materials and technology, dental implants have been developed to the point of providing stability, function and aesthetics.
A dental implant is basically a rather simple metal screw that attaches to the jawbone, thus forming an artificial root for a single replacement tooth or support for dental bridges, partial removable or total dentures.
Implants are made from medical grade titanium or titanium alloys. The dentist inserts the implant into a small hole drilled into the jaw. Within the following 2 to 6 months, the process of osseointegration (i.e. fusing with the bone) takes place. After this period of time, the implant is firmly anchored in place and can be loaded. Current trends, however, move towards immediate implant loading. Dental implants are an option for anyone who wishes to replace his/her missing teeth. Some relative limitations apply to patients with certain systemic diseases such as diabetes, while heavy smoking is also discouraged. There are also some absolute contraindications, namely immunosuppressive treatment and end-stage illness. There must be enough bone in the area of the missing tooth to support the implant.
Implants are most popular with the people who have lost all their teeth to serve as supports for their total removable denture or total fixed bridge. Nevertheless, dental implants are also suitable as single-tooth replacements. More and more people opt for this type of dental restoration.
Of all the patients that visit our office in need of prosthodontic care, about a third decide on dental implants. And the percentage keeps growing each year.