As tooth loss from disease and trauma has forever been a feature of mankind’s existence, it is not surprising that the history of tooth replacement is a long one. Two core elements in tooth replacement are the material of choice and some form of attachment mechanism. Materials have long developed from carved ivory and bone to porcelain and plastic, yet attachment has been stagnant for a number of years. As it is not possible to replicate the human gum tissue, alternative strategies have been developed. Probably the single most important of these developments has been the dental implant.
An implant is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone. The bone then grows onto the surface of the implant in a process called osseo integration. This process takes between 2-6 months and is determined by the type of bone you have. Once the implant has integrated a prosthesis (TOOTH) is then fixed to it. This can be a permanently fixed prosthesis (CROWN / BRIDGE) or a removable fixed prosthesis (Removable DENTURE)
Why implant therapy?
- High success rates (>90%)
- Highly cosmetic
- Long term functionality
- ‘Closest thing to natural teeth’