What’s New With Dental Implants

Dental implants have advanced a great deal since the 1950s, when titanium was found to be an excellent material for the posts that anchor prosthetic teeth. Prosthodontists found out quickly that the more the post is shaped like the root of an actual tooth, the quicker the bone integrates into it. Before, the posts were straight. They were also smooth, which was another characteristic that made the bone integrating into the post a long and painful process. Prosthodontists also learned that bone is much more amenable to osseointegrating into rough surfaces. Now, posts have threads like screws. Some of them are even honeycombed, which allows the bone to grow into the lacunae in the post.

The root-shape and roughness of contemporary posts and the fact that they are made of titanium has cut down on the time it takes for the bone to heal from about six months to six weeks.
Why Titanium?
Titanium, a silvery metal whose strength to size ratio is greater than that of steel, is inert. This means it doesn’t react with the fluids found in the mouth. It’s also biocompatible, so the body doesn’t reject it.Still, the metal needs time to integrate with the jawbone. If too much force is applied to a post before it fuses, it can make connections with the soft tissue in the jaw, which can put the patient at risk of infection. The crown that is placed on top of the post also won’t be as stable as it could be.


One Day Dental Implants
The long time that it takes for the bone and titanium post to fuse can be problematic for people who need to have implants in the front of their mouths. Now, the threads that are found on many titanium posts allow them to be implanted with such a tight fit that crowns can be placed on them on the same day. The prosthodontist calls this “immediate loading.” It spares the patient the embarrassment of having either no teeth or obviously false teeth during the period while they wait for their jaw to heal.

Patients can also have a fixed, temporary tooth added to the post as opposed to a removable temporary tooth. In other cases, two ore more implants can be joined together to support a bridge that can snap into place and stay secure in ways that were not possible before.

Another procedure called All-in-4 allows patients to have entire rows of teeth replaced in one day. The procedure gets its name because a row of teeth can be placed using only four dental implants. This can happen during one visit to the prosthodontist’s office and with the help of three dimensional imaging technologies and computer software.

More and more patients demand dental implant procedures that do not take weeks to complete. The dental industry is responding with better and faster techniques to meet that demand. More information can be obtained by visiting Prosthodontic Associates.