Dental implants were first developed by Swedish physician and research professor Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark. The Swedish orthopaedic surgeon pioneered the use of dental implants after he discovered that titanium can be safely fused with bone—a process which he called osseointegration.
Dental implants will function as roots of missing teeth and are surgically placed in the jawbone. Since the titanium in the implant fuses with the jawbone, the implant won’t make noise, cause bone damage, or slip.
Dental implant surgery is considered a good alternative to bridgework or dentures that does not fit well. How the procedure is performed will depend on the condition of the jawbone as well as the type of implant.
One of the primary benefits of dental implants is it provides robust support for the new teeth. Since the bone needs to heal around the implant, the procedure can take several months.
Who are ideal dental implant candidates?
In general, dental implants can be the ideal option if you:
- Have one (or more) teeth missing
- Unable or don’t want to wear dentures
- Have a jawbone that has grown fully
- Has adequate bone that can secure the implant
- Have oral tissues that are healthy
- Don’t have any health condition that might affect bone healing
- Don’t smoke
- Are willing to commit to the process
Also, as long as you are not suffering from any underlying health issues like hypertension, diabetes, immune system or bleeding disorders, active gum disease, etc., you have a really good chance of achieving dental implant surgery success.
To determine if dental implants is indeed the best option for your case, you need to see an oral surgeon for consultation. During the visit, your surgeon will conduct a thorough assessment of your oral health.
Aside from physical examination, your surgeon might require medical imaging to better look into other key factors like bone quality and density as well as position of the nerves and sinus cavities.
As mentioned earlier, the patient’s overall health will also be evaluated. In line with this, expect to provide your surgeon information on your complete history. This can include present as well as past health issues. You might also be asked about any medications you are currently taking so make sure you know what they are.
Aside from being able to accurately gauge if dental implants are the best option for your case, your oral surgeon can also give you expert advice on the implant-based restoration that’s best suited for you. You will also be informed ahead if any preparatory procedures will be needed (i.e. sinus lifts, bone grafts) to ensure optimal results.
What to Expect
Dental implant surgery is an outpatient surgery that is carried out in stages. It will also require healing time between procedures. Dental implant surgery includes the following steps:
- Removal of damaged tooth
- Grafting or jawbone preparation (when needed)
- Placement of dental implant
- Growth and healing of the bone
- Placement of abutment
- Placement of the artificial tooth