Most of us have an elder grandparent with dental implants. Have you ever wondered how they are built or what materials go into them? How comfortable are they? If you take good care of your teeth, you may never have to find out first-hand. Here is some information on dental implants that you might be interested to know.
Quick History of Dental Implants
The Mayans who existed in the middle of the first millennium A.D. were the first culture known to experiment with tooth replacement. Surgical procedures allowed primitive dentists to replace teeth with stones or pieces of seashell. No great advances in the practice of tooth implantation were noted until modern times. Throughout history, false teeth have been favored replacements. Wood was the staple material used in dentures through the eighteenth century. Porcelain gained favor for its resemblance to natural, healthy teeth in the late 1700s.
Modern Dental Implants
The development of implants experienced its first major scientific thrust in the 1950s. A Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Branemark discovered that his titanium chambers used to study bone healing became irreversibly fused with the bone itself. Titanium was later characterized as a nontoxic and compatible metal for use with bone. Its ability to integrate into bones means that teeth can easily be replaced safely and permanently if the jawbone is healthy and intact.
How Are Implants Installed?
A dental implant will contain several important features. First, the root of the artificial tooth will be fashioned out of titanium and shaped to resemble a normal tooth root. The visible portion of the implant, also known as the crown, can be made out of a variety of materials. These include metals such as gold alloys and ceramics like porcelain. Both materials offer strength and brilliance to make give the appearance of healthy, normal teeth.
In conclusion, when considering tooth replacement options, two principle choices will be available to you. Dentures do not have an inherent failure rate. Implants are the permanent solution, but in the long-term the body can reject them. This is because the bone may be degraded to the point where integration of the root cannot occur. It can also be a result of the new teeth being subjected to too much pressure. In these cases, dentures will be the optimal route of replacement.