In dentistry, this decade seems to be that of the dental implant. Interestingly enough, this is occurring simultaneously with a decreased rate of loss of teeth and people expecting to retain their own teeth for life.
So what is happening? More people are keeping their own teeth for far longer, often for life. At the same time, those that have lost teeth can have them replaced without having to wear partial or full dentures. Removable ‘pieces of metal and or plastic’ in the mouth are about to become ‘history’!
As the following video describes , using modern dental implant technology and techniques , there are many different solutions for patients who have lost any amount of teeth or, indeed, are about to do so.
In 1952 a Swedish biomedical research professor, while investigating flow in rabbit blood vessels made an interesting discovery. He realized that the pure titanium metal he used in his animal experiment biomechanically attached to bone. He decided to test a human application of this fact by creating titanium tooth roots to attach to human jaw bone in areas where natural teeth had been lost. His first patient was treated in 1965.
By 1985, after a mountain of research had been carried out in Guttenberg University, Sweden, the dental implants started to be released to dental specialists for use on the ‘general public’.
In the last thirty years dental implants have become part of mainstream dentistry, research has continued relentlessly and there are very few reasons or situations today for not being able to place them in any individual. More and more dentists, largely general practitioners after ‘various degrees of training’ are now placing them in patients throughout the world. The success rate tends to be very high, although it must be emphasized that this largely depends on the experience and experience of the implantologist.
Traditionally, such bionic titanium tooth roots needed to be left embedded passively in the bone for three months or more. In recent years , research and changes in implant design technology and techniques have enabled implants to be ‘loaded’ with crowns, bridges or dentures immediately after being placed . In many cases this makes a huge difference to patient comfort, convenience and experience. This can apply to single missing teeth visible when a patient talks or smiles, a few teeth missing ‘in a row’ or even to a mouth that has lost almost all, if not all the teeth. It would be fair to say that the ability to provide ’same day teeth’ on implants has been quite a ‘quantum leap’ in the way we provide replacement teeth today.
Today, no one needs to have the discomfort, embarrassment of either functioning without or showing a lack of teeth at any time.