Tooth implants were implemented back in ancient times. Sea shells and pieces of rock were the tools used back then. However, in 1952 a Swedish physician named Per-Ingvar Branemark was researching the use of different metals and came upon a discovery about titanium that makes its use today very important when placing dental implants.
Dr. Branemark placed a titanium rod in the leg of a rabbit; after allowing for healing he attempted to retrieve the rod and found the bone had fused to it making its removal impossible. This is how the term osseointegration came into being. Thinking he was on to something, he pursued further experimentation and by 1965, he was ready to place his first titanium dental implant in a human patient; the procedure was a great success.
Over the past half century, further research and changes have taken place to make improvements to early dental implants. However, one facet has stayed the same … the use of titanium.
In addition to its unique ability for bone fusion, titanium is a metal that seems much less resistant to rejection. These two facts make titanium the ideal metal for successful dental implantation.
Patients who have lost one or more teeth to decay, trauma, disease, or whose teeth never erupted properly are candidates for dental implants. Your dentist will inquire about your medical health and perform a thorough dental exam to make sure you qualify for the implant procedure.
A small titanium device is surgically embedded in the jaw (gum tissue) where tooth loss has occurred. Depending on the specific process, a healing period will follow allowing the bone in the jaw to fuse to the implant. The implant will provide the solid base for the restoration that will be affixed to it. Think of the implant like the roots of a natural tooth as they are similar in function.
Once healed, and the implant procedure is deemed a success, the final cover will be fabricated. It will look as natural as its neighboring teeth; and allow you to eat, speak, and smile with the same confidence and functionality as you did before experiencing tooth loss.
To find out if dental implants are appropriate in your case, contact our team at East Hills Dental Associates. Call 516-484-6600 today to schedule your visit.