Is a Dental Implant Right for Your Missing Tooth?

Without question over the last two decades dental implants have revolutionized tooth replacement and the practice of dentistry. The concept of dental implants is not new, the earliest recorded attempts of their use were discovered in the Mayan civilization dating back to 600 A.D. Today's highly successful dental implants consist of root replacement for a natural tooth, to which a crown is attached, just like the teeth in your mouth when you smile, there is no visible difference. In addition they do not decay and are relatively free from developing gum disease. As with most treatment modalities in dentistry today, this not only involves scientific discovery, research and understanding, but application in clinical practice. The practice of implant dentistry requires expertise in planning, surgical placement and crown fabrication; it is as much about art and experience as it is about science. It also requires teamwork between you, the patient, and our dental team.

What is a Dental Implant?

Dental Implant

Dental Implant

The video shows the assembly necessary to restore an implant with a crown. The assembly consists of an abutment with a screw that fits into the implant and a permanent crown, which is then cemented onto the abutment.

Teeth essentially can be thought of as having two main parts, the crown, the part above the gum tissues, and the root, the part that is suspended in the bone by the periodontal ligament (peri-around, odont-tooth) that keeps the tooth in place. A dental or endosseous implant (endo – inside, osseous – bone) is actually a root replacement, but unlike the root of a tooth it becomes anchored in the bone of the jaw, formerly occupied by a tooth or teeth.

The amazing thing about currently used dental implants is that they actually fuse with, or “integrate” into the bone, a process known as “osseo-integration” (osseo-bone, integrate – to become part of). They are for the most part made of commercially pure titanium, a metallic substance used for many years in medicine and dentistry because it is not rejected by the body, being osteophilic (bone loving). The actual process of osseo-integration is essentially a biochemical fusion of living bone cells and bone substance to an oxide layer that forms on the surface of the titanium.

Call our office today to see if dental implants are right for you. 770-932-1115