Over the past few years cosmetic dentistry has become increasingly popular, with more and more of us opting to improve our looks with a brighter, whiter, straighter smile. Of all of the available cosmetic dental procedures, dental implants are currently the most sought after. So what are dental implants and what makes them so desirable? Read this article to find out.
A dental implant is an artificial replacement used in the treatment of tooth loss. Unlike traditional dental bridgework which relies on the surrounding teeth to anchor the new tooth, dental implants are anchored to a pre drilled socket in the jaw bone.
A new dental implant will normally consist of a commercially pure titanium screw or cylinder or several of these positioned in strategic areas in the mouth and anchored to the jaw.
Titanium is one of the most extensively used materials in Cosmetic Dentistry. This is due to the excellent properties of Titanium. Titanium is easily fabricated, posesses excellent biocompatibility and has high corrosion resistance particularly against Flourine compounds of which are the main ingredient for most modern day tooth cleaning products.
Once the titanium dental implant screws are in place an artificial tooth substitute or crown is then placed over the screw. Crowns are generally made from “second generation” Porcelain . These crowns are stronger and more durable than the original porcelain type materials first used in cosmetic dental procedures. The strength of these porcelain material means that they can hold upto to the 200 pounds of pressure put on them during the chewing function.
Dental implants have a very high success rate and are highly recommeneded by dental implants dentists for the treatment of tooth loss and tooth decay. It is now thought that the success rate for dental Implants is an outstanding 95%. However all of these success rates will vary based on a combination of factors including patient commitment to the after care of the dental implants, patient lifestyle and the nature of the bone surrounding the implant i.e. Natural bone or grafted bone. If a patient smokes it has been shown that they are statistically two and a half times more likely to experience dental implant failure than a non-smoker.
Because of the nature of dental implants and the way that they are made they are expected to last for many years sometimes for life. Reports have show that the first patient to ever have dental implants inserted still has the original implants in function today. This is remarkable considering the first dental implant procedure was conducted in 1965!