Dental implants replace the roots of teeth and can be used to anchor a single dental crown or crowns, a bridge or a denture. Dental implants are usually screw shaped implants made from pure titanium.
Dental implants were first used to treat patients in their current form some forty years ago. Per Ingvar Brånemark a Swedish Professor discovered that the metal titanium fused (osseointegrated) directly to bone in studies of blood circulation.
There are many dental implant advantages; some of which are mentioned below. A dental implant may be placed at the same time a tooth is removed or many years after extraction. The position, colour and shape of teeth is determined by nature.
Implants and their crowns can often be placed in the ideal position (subject to the availability of suitable bone), closing spaces, matching natural teeth and creating the optimal aesthetics.
Under some circumstances and the subject of careful clinical assessment an implant can be placed and the overlying crown or denture placed immediately of very soon the rafter. This offers immediate treatment.
However under some circumstances with poor bone quality for example it can be prudent to wait for healing and osseointegration to take place using a temporary crown or denture in the interim.
A skilled and experienced clinical professional will be able to assess the patient on their individual circumstances.
Natural teeth suffer from disease; tooth decay (caries) and gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis). Implants do not suffer from these conditions.
They have the longest lifetime of implanted medical devices and current designs are having reported success rates in excess of forty years.
Longevity is dependent on individual clinical cases and a specialist will be able to advise on risk factors. Some implant components and prosthetics may require replacement due to wear and tear and mechanical factors but often this is simple mechanical replacement.