Dental implants allow patients with missing teeth to restore the structure of their smiles with new teeth that look, feel and function just like natural teeth do.
Titanium Dental Implants
In the early 1950s, Swedish scientist Per-Ingvar Branemark observed that titanium could bond with bone. He called this bonding process osseointegration. Since then, titanium has been used for dental implant tooth root replacements and other medical applications.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically implanted in the jaw bone, to act as artificial tooth roots. Once the patient has healed from the procedure and the titanium post has fully fused with the jaw bone, it is capped with a crown. This gives it the appearance of a natural tooth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants look, feel and act just like real teeth do, and they are permanent. They don't move or shift around in the mouth like dentures do, and indeed, they can be used to hold ill-fitting dentures in place.
Whereas a bridge may have to be replaced 2-3 times in one's lifetime, studies show that implants can last for life, thus saving money and hassle in the long run.
The first cylindrical-type implants were put in place 30 years ago and are still functioning perfectly. Dental implant types continue to improve and to date, there is no time limit on the life expectancy of successful cylindrical implant systems.
How long does the implant procedure take?
The first procedure, placement of the implants, takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes for each implant. The second procedure to uncover the implants and attach the abutments usually takes an hour or less depending on the number of implants that you have.
Is the procedure painful?
If you are like most patients, you will experience no major discomfort during or after the operation. Your dentist will discuss your options for anesthesia with you and plan your procedure accordingly. In general, however, it is done with local anesthesia.
Will I be able to chew normally on the implant teeth?
Yes. Studies have shown that chewing efficiency improves significantly after treatment with cylindrical implant systems and, following a brief adaptation period, is comparable to the chewing efficiency of natural teeth.