Dental Implants: The Best Way to Replace Missing Teeth.


    Posted by Dr. William Linger, DDS, MAGD

    replace missing teeth

    When people have gaps in their teeth, they can easily feel self-conscious and are more prone to avoid social events. In addition, they often shy away from being photographed. But thanks to dental implants, millions of people are smiling again as they no longer don't have to worry about missing teeth. 

    Here are some reasons why implants are so popular, along with a brief history and a few considerations and warnings.  

    Why Dental Implants Are the Leading Way to Replace Missing Teeth

    Simply put, dental implants are artificial teeth mounted to surgically implanted posts in the jawbone. Generally, dental implants have a 98 percent success rate although this can vary. One factor is the location in the jaw where dental implants are placed.

    These dental devices are more popular than other types of tooth replacements mainly because they provide more stability and allow people to use them just as they would regular teeth.

    But probably the main reason for their success rate is that advanced training is a requirement for the oral surgeons or periodontists who perform this type of dental procedure.

    Brief History of Dental Implants

    Replacing missing teeth actually dates back to prehistoric times as the ancient Chinese people used carved pegs for substituting missing teeth 4,000 years ago. Rather recently, an iron false tooth that's believed to be 2,300 years old, was discovered in France in a Celtic grave. Because the artificial tooth was found in a grave, some experts think it was placed there for improving a deceased person's smile.

    Furthermore, archaeologists have unearthed other different materials in ancient skulls, such as sea shells. However, it wasn't until hundreds of years later, that any noteworthy developments in dental implants occurred.

    Even though some attempts were made that involved using gold and alloys for creating dental implants, they weren't that effective until 1952. This is when an orthopedic surgeon accidentally discovered how titanium cylinder successfully bonded with the bone from a rabbit's femur.

    It wasn't until 1965 that a human dental patient successfully received the first dental implant that was made of titanium. This led to more improved ways for replacing teeth, such as using a titanium alloy screw that was attached to the jaw.

    Once the healing occurred, the screw could be fused to the jawbone, and a crown could be applied over the screw. Today, dental implants are thought to be the most advanced method for replacing missing teeth.

    Types of Dental Implants

    The two primary kinds of dental implants are endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants.

    • Endosteal implants—These implants involve using screws, blades or cylinders for being secured to the jawbone with each one the implants holding at least one tooth. Usually, they're used on people with removable dentures or patients having bridgework.
    • Subperiosteal implants—A dentist places these implants on the top of a patient's jaw. The metal framework holds the tooth by protruding through the jaw. This is a good choice for people who don't have much bone height as well as patients who can't wear dentures.

    Other Considerations and Warnings

    • Unlike bridgework, dental implants don't involve work having to be done on adjacent teeth. What's more, people won't even realize you have them.

    • Dental implants can be used for a single tooth, several teeth or for all teeth. In most cases, the number needed is determined by how much bone is in a patient's jaw.

    • Usually, the upper back area of the mouth doesn't have as much bone structure, so it's not the best place for implants.

    • Dental implants can be done on people of all ages.

    • It normally takes a few months for the entire process. Consider how the framework that a dentist places into the bone needs to settle before any teeth are able to be added. However, during this waiting period, dental patients receive temporary teeth.

    • The ideal candidates for dental implants are those who are in overall good health. For example, their gums need to be healthy enough for bone to be able to support dental implants.

    Questions? To learn more about dental implants or any other type of dental or cosmetic dental procedure, call the Charlotte, North Carolina dental specialists at William Linger, DDS, MAGD. Our highly trained and experienced team of dental professionals provides a wide range of dental services, all under a single roof. Please contact us

    Topics: Dental Implants

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