Dental implants as we know them today were invented in 1952 by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Today, it is accepted as the standard of care for the prosthetic treatment of missing teeth in dentistry.
A dental implant is a long-term dental product that is placed in the jawbone during the surgical procedure and fuses with the bone within a few months. A dental implant replaces the root of a missing tooth and serves to retain a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants fused to the jawbone are the most similar solution to a natural tooth because they show years of stability when standing on their own without affecting nearby teeth. The fusion process between the dental implant and the jawbone is called “osseointegration”. Most dental implants are made of titanium, which allows them to integrate with the bone without being recognized as a foreign body in our body. Over time, technology and science have advanced in ways that have greatly improved the results of dental implant placement. Today, the success rate of correctly applied dental implants is close to 98%.
Why dental implant?
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or all teeth. The purpose of dental prostheses in dentistry is to restore function as well as aesthetics.
When it comes to renewing teeth, there are usually three options:
Removable full or partial denture
Fixed dental bridge
Dentures are a more affordable option for replacement teeth but are less preferred due to the discomfort of a removable appliance in the mouth. Also, dentures can affect a person’s taste and sensory experience with food.
Prior to the relatively recent introduction of dental implant treatment, dental bridgework was the more common restorative option. The main disadvantage of bridgework is its dependence on existing natural teeth for support. Implants are supported only by bone and do not affect the surrounding natural teeth. Deciding which option to choose depends on many factors. Especially for dental implants, we can specify these factors as follows:
Missing tooth or location of teeth
The quantity and quality of the jawbone where the dental implant will be placed
General health status of the patient
A dental surgeon examines the area to be considered for a dental implant and makes a clinical assessment of whether the patient is a good candidate for a dental implant.
Choosing a dental implant for tooth replacement has great advantages over other options. Dental implants are conservative in that missing teeth can be replaced without affecting or replacing adjacent teeth. Also, because dental implants are integrated into the bone structure, they are very stable and can have the look and feel of one’s own natural teeth.