What Are Dental Implants and How Do They Work?
What exactly are dental implants?
If someone has one or more teeth missing, there are now options for them to have these replaced in an easy and safe manor without having to resort to “fake teeth,” which are considered outdated and old-fashioned. Today’s modern technology involves dental implants, which are said to be modern medicines best option for teeth replacement. In fact, dental implants can last as long or longer than natural teeth if cared for properly!
A natural tooth has two parts: the crown we see in the mouth, and the root which is down inside the jawbone. The incredibly lifelike man-made replacement, the dental implant, can mimic a natural tooth in looks and function, only better. Why? Because dental implant teeth can never get a cavity or need a root canal.
How does it work?
The implant itself can be thought of as a man-made tooth root. It is inserted gently into the jawbone, and then something nearly miraculous happens on its surface. The living jawbone thinks that the tooth is back, and grows right onto the surface of the implant. This biologic process occurs without glue or cement.
This process is called osseointegration. which was discovered by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark in the early 1950’s. For many years before that, people have placed objects into the body and hoped they wouldn’t be “rejected.” Professor Brånemark found that osseointegration wasn’t a rejection vs. non-rejection process, but for the first time in history, an inanimate object made of titanium metal, was thought by the body to be living tissue and grew right onto it as if it belonged there. This is the basis for why dental implants work.
The final step involves bone growing onto the titanium man-made tooth root which provides a solid anchor for a restorative dentist to secure a tooth on top. The crown of the dentist-made tooth, looks and feels like a natural tooth and is connected to the anchoring implant via a piece called an abutment. So when it’s completed, the patient only sees is a crown, but it’s actually like a totem pole. Crown, connecting abutment and implant “root.”
The final result?
Beautiful, natural looking implants. Dental implants have the highest success rate of any tooth replacement surgery, and most patients experience no pain during the process and extremely little discomfort post-surgery.