What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are relatively new to restorative and reconstructive dentistry. After the accidental discovery of titanium’s biocompatibility with human bone (by Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark), titanium implants quickly became a highly successful treatment option.
A dental implant is a small, root-like post made from titanium that is surgically inserted into the jawbone. Because of the metal’s biocompatibility, your jawbone integrates with the implants by growing to their surfaces as the bone heals. An implant post can then be used to support a replacement dental crown, or several can be used to support a partial denture or complete denture, depending on how many teeth you’ve lost.
The Long-Term Benefits
Traditional bridges and dentures are custom-designed for optimal comfort, but rely on apparatus such as supportive abutment teeth or small, hidden clasps for stability. In the case of full dentures, the appliance depends on its curvature along your dental ridge to remain in place. With dental implants, however, replacement teeth are supported by prosthetic roots, mimicking the structure of your healthy, natural teeth.
The short-term benefits of dental implants include the unmatched, highly lifelike comfort and stability provided by prosthetic teeth roots. The long-term benefits, however, are more profound; by reestablishing stimulation in your jawbone when you bite and chew, dental implants also help maintain the strength and integrity of your jawbone. This improves your long-term oral health, and reduces your risk of experiencing further tooth loss.