Dental implants are used to replace teeth when they are badly damaged, and have no hope of survival. Over time, the implant or screw, fuses with the jaw bone and remains a strong support for the fake teeth (a process known as osseointegration).
Dental implants provide many benefits over traditional forms of tooth replacement:
- They Last much longer than bridges or dentures
- An implant will prevent bone loss associated with missing teeth
- They are a great replacement option to removable dentures and bridges.
- No wear and tear on surrounding teeth is caused
- They are aesthetically pleasing and very natural looking
- Dental implants allow patient to eat hard foods with confidence
- Patients experience an increase in self confidence
- There are no age restriction for a dental implant (unlike alternative options)
Types Of Dental Implants
Most dental implants today are made from titanium, which is a special metal used very often in surgical applications. Titanium has the ability to avoid corrosion, is lightweight and is non-magnetic, but the largest benefit is that the human body does not reject titanium as a foreign object.
This means when a dental implant is placed in the bone, the bone grows around the implant, which is a process called Osseointegration. There are a few different options when it comes to dental implants, and the most suitable implant for you depends on your individual case:
- Endosseous implants
These implants are placed within the bone and are typically shaped like a screw or cylinder. This type of implant is the most popular option however the bone must have enough depth and width for it to be successful.
- Subperiosteal implant
These dental implants are placed on top of the bone, but underneath the gum line. They consist of a metal frame, and are a great alternative if the patient does not have deep enough bone.
- Transosteal implant
Consisting of a metal pin or a U-shaped frame, this implant passes through the jawbone and the gum tissue, into the mouth.
Common Dental Implant Problems
Occasionally dental implants fail to integrate with the bone or, as some people say, they are rejected. In most instances, they are replaced with another implant, usually of a slightly larger size, and the problem is solved.
There are a few other complications, such as gum infections or breaking the implant, but these complications are very rare and account for less than 5% of all dental implant related problems