Dental implant therapy has been around for many years with a proven track record. Improvements in materials and surgical techniques have made dental implants the gold standard treatment in many instances for the replacement of missing teeth.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant essentially substitutes for a missing tooth root. It is commonly cylinder or screw shaped. Each implant is carefully and precisely drilled into the location of the intended tooth and provides a foundation for long-term support of replacement teeth.
Almost all dental implants in use today are made from titanium or titanium alloy. These materials have been shown to be well tolerated by bone. The terms ‘osseointegrated implants’ and ‘endosseous implants’ are widely used to describe dental implants that can develop and maintain a close union with bone in order to support replacement teeth.
Who is a suitable candidate for dental implants?
Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple missing teeth or to replace teeth in cases with complete tooth loss. Therefore almost any situation can potentially be treated with this modality. However, various factors need to be taken into consideration such as bone volume and quality, tooth and jaw relationships, oral habits and general medical health. Your dental surgeon will assess your suitability for treatment with these implants.
How long will the implant fixtures stay in the bone?
If the titanium fixtures have successfully integrated to the bone and are properly maintained, they should last for many years. However, just as you would expect conventional crowns, bridges and fillings to need occasional repairs or replacements during the course of their lifetimes, your implant-supported teeth may also need similar maintenance.