What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a stable and long-lasting platform at the moment of replacing a missing tooth. It's a small titanium screw which is places inside the bone where the tooth is missing.
Titanium implants were used for the first time in the late sixties. Since then there have been many investigations which show that implants work in a very effective and reliable way, and are the best substitute for the missing teeth.
Applying the right surgery technique and materials, and being this task performed by a qualified professional, there won't be any problem with the integration of the implant to the bone.
What are the advantages of a dental implant?
Our Dental Clinic focuses mainly in dental implants, since we believe that nowadays they are the best solution to replace missing teeth. To have a complete set of teeth correctly functioning can improve your quality of life. Not only because you can eat well, but also because it completely chances your appearance. Teeth give shape and support to our face.
When you lose some teeth, gums and jaw bones tend to shrink, giving your face an aging appearance. Once the implant is placed into the bone, it will fuse with the jaw bone, and it will make the bone keep its original shape stopping the aging appearance effect. Implants nowadays are the closest thing to natural teeth.
Implants are strong which means that you can chew and bite with it in the same way you would do it with your natural teeth, even with hard foods like whole apples and raw carrots! They are long-lasting, which will allow you to live as if you had all your natural teeth. Implants are also very versatile, and a combination of one or more than one can be used to restore your smile to perfection.
What are the components of an implant?
The main component of an implant is titanium. It is used in the form of a screw with a specially roughened surface which makes the implant compatible to the bone and almost of the same size of the missing teeth's root.
The screw is placed inside the bone and left to integrate for 4 to 6 weeks. By that time it is solid as a rock.
When the surgery is performed with first-quality parts and materials and by a qualified professional, there are no problems with the integration of the implant with the bone, since titanium is one of the few materials that can perform osteointegration (the titanium fuses with the bone).
What are the other options to an implant?
When you have lost or are about to lose teeth, the alternatives to replace them are the dentures, bridges and implants. For some people, dentures are something old-fashioned, maybe something their grandparents might have worn, and they involve the annoyance of removal and cleaning. All bridges involve cutting the adjacent teeth to certain extent. However, the main problem of dentures and bridges is that they do not preservethe bone and gums around the extracted teeth and they will continue to shrink throughout life producing an aging effect to the face.
Implants, on the other hand, feel like normal teeth, do not involve the cutting of adjacent teeth, are a permanent solution and prevent the aging effect to give you a brilliant smile.
Brief history of dental implants.
Dental Implants have been used in the human culture for thousands of years; some of the first dental implants that were found date back to the year 600 AD and belong to the Mayan people of South America
There is no certainty whether these first implants were made as a jewellery to be used under de nose, but Brazilian academics ran tests that concluded that those were implants and in fact were placed inside the bone of a girl of a little over 20 years old for cosmetic purposes.
In the mid 50's, Cambridge University carried out an investigation, although it was not until 1965 that a Swedish surgeon, PI Branemark, approved Cambridge's investigation and placed the first modern titanium implant into a human volunteer.
The effects of missing teeth
The effects of missing teeth can be, in the long term, detrimental for your oral and medical health. Missing teeth are also associated to old age and can make you look older than you really are.
Replacing missing teeth can improve your smile and the shape of your face. This improves not only your dental health but also your self-esteem.
The gaps formed by those missing teeth affect the way the jaw closes. The remaining teeth start to drift and tilt to those gaps. In addition, food can become trapped in those spaces increasing the risk of decay and gum disease.
The tilting and drifting of those teeth can also cause problems for the opposite teeth and this will result in a bad bite. With the passing of time and the movement, those teeth will also suffer changes and not only can they produce biting and chewing problems but also problems in the jaw joints.
As soon as a tooth is lost, either from extraction or gum disease, the jawbone begins to dissolve. This process is called resorption. The longer a tooth is missing, the greater the bone loss. With the passing of time, the resorption of the jawbone has a considerable impact on the quality of life and on the possibility of replacing the missing teeth. As teeth are lost it becomes more difficult to eat and chew food. Studies have shown that 29 percent of denture wearers only eat soft or mashed foods and 50 percent completely avoid certain foods. Over time, the jawbone disintegrates until it is becomes very difficult to place any dental restoration.
Benefits of inmediate replacement of teeth.
A missing tooth should be replaced as soon as it is lost. This will keep your oral health, preventing bone loss, reducing movement of surrounding teeth and avoiding excess of decays.
Teeth provide more functions than just the ability to chew. They are necessary for the health of the gum and jaw tissues, and a prolonged absence of a teeth will dramatically limit the possibilities of restoring them. The missing teeth can also have an impact in your self-confidence and well-being.