A dental implant is a biocompatible titanium device surgically placed into the jawbone to support a prosthetic tooth crown to replace missing teeth. Other materials used for the dental implants include gold, stainless steel, cobalt-chromium, and zirconium. The dental implant is a unique structure that can be used with a noninvasive method because it is inserted into the bone in part and extended extra-coronal. They have been extensively used in prosthetic dentistry over the last two decades. Many advancements in technologies have been noted in the field of dental equipment and material engineering. The success rates of dental implants are improving, and they are becoming the standard of care in many instances to replace missing teeth. Implants can be made from different materials, undergo different surface treatments and come in various widths, shapes, lengths, and forms.
What do I need to know?
Dental implantation is a standard treatment option for patients with edentulism. In the times that we are in, implants are considered the ideal choice as it restores the function and aesthetics of the tooth. One advantage of dental implants over removable dentures is that the dental implants help in bone preservation whereas removable dentures lead to bone loss in the long run. Dental implants can serve to replace the missing tooth itself or to support another prosthesis, as in the case of overdentures. Implant-retained mandibular overdentures have become a popular treatment alternative for patients desiring increased retention of complete dentures. There are some aspects to consider in planning for the dental implant. Among those are parafunctional habits, occlusal loading, the number, distribution, orientation, and design of the implant, as well as the design and properties of implant connectors. Carefully planned functional occlusal loading will result in maintenance of osseointegration and possibly increased bone to implant contact. In contrast, excessive loading may lead to bone loss and component failure. After the implantation surgery, bone remodeling and osseointegration’ take place, and the healing process begins.
How will we know if it is a success?
Dental cone beam scans are taken prior to implant placement to assess the bone and surrounding structures. Cases are carefully mapped out and planned accordingly, prior to placing dental implants. Dentists have full access to these 3D scans so each implant placed is customized specifically for the individual requiring the dental implant
Also, in certain cases, grafting (bone or connective tissue) or sinus lifts may be required to achieve a successful result. These procedures will be discussed with a patient prior to commencing treatment, so they fully understands the scope of the treatment. This is an important component to the long- term success of dental implants.