One the most exciting advances in dentistry in the last 40+ years has been the use of dental implants. The First Dental Implant was placed in 1965 by Professor Branemark in Sweden. Since 1978 and the commercialized development and marketing of dental implants, millions of dental implants have been placed in the United States alone.

Substitutes For Tooth Roots

Dental implants are artficial substitutes for natural tooth roots. They are lightweight, metal devices surgically embedded in the gums or in the bone to which replacement teeth are attached.
The implant procedure involves the insertion of tiny metal fixtures into the jawbone. These fixtures actually integrate with the bone and hold permanent, prosthetic teeth. The new teeth remain in the mouth and can stay secure for years and years.

This innovation is enabling thousands of people who have lost their teeth to illness, injury, or congenital defects to enjoy tooth function again. Smiling, chewing and talking is easier with a full set of teeth

Through the use of implants, single replacement teeth or natural teeth that are slightly loose can be anchored into place. The innovation is enabling thousands of people who have lost their teeth to illness, injury, or congenital defects to enjoy tooth function again.


An Alternative to Conventional Dentures

Dental implants can offer a solution to people who have false or missing teeth and want to avoid removable dentures. Implants offer the greatest hope for people who cannot function adequately with conventional dentures.

The problems of edentulous patients begin when the parts of the jawbone that originally housed the teeth begin to shrink. This shrinking is called resorption. As the jawbone becomes smaller, there is less bone to comfortably anchor the denture. As a result, many people struggle with dentures that won't allow them to smile naturally, speak clearly, or chew comfortably.

Implants, on the other hand, can provide support for improved appearance, speech, comfort, and chewing ability. The implant itself is made of titanium. Once titanium implant is placed, the resorption (or shrinking) stops and the bone stabilizes within the first year. The implant procedure requires several office visits for planning, healing, and finally, attachment of the prosthetic teeth. During the healing period, the patient can wear a denture that has been refitted to prevent pressure on the fixtures.


Not For Everyone

Dental implants aren't necessarily for everyone. For example, patients must be in good overall health; healthy gums and sufficient bone help support an implant. The implant, obviously, will not be exactly the same as a natural, healthy tooth. Most importantly, regular dental visits and scrupulous oral hygiene are requisites for success.

But dental implants can be the answer for many people. They already have been.

If you have any questions about implants, for yourself or someone you know, call our office. We'd be happy to evaluate your situation.