Titanium’s special property of fusing to bone, called osseointegration (“osseo” – bone; “integration” – fusion or joining with), is the biological basis of dental implant success. That’s because when teeth are lost, the bone that supported those teeth is lost too. Placing dental implants stabilizes bone, preventing its loss. Along with replacing lost teeth, implants help maintain the jawbone’s shape and density. This means they also support the facial skeleton and, indirectly, the soft tissue structures — gum tissues, cheeks and lips. Dental implants help you eat, chew, smile, talk and look completely natural. This functionality imparts social, psychological and physical well-being.
A dental implant is actually a replacement for the root or roots of a tooth. Like tooth roots, dental implants are secured in the jawbone and are not visible once surgically placed. They are used to secure crowns (the parts of teeth seen in the mouth), bridgework or dentures by a variety of means. They are made of titanium, which is lightweight, strong and biocompatible, which means that it is not rejected by the body. Titanium and titanium alloys are the most widely used metals in both dental and other bone implants, such as orthopedic joint replacements. Dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device.
Implant exposure is when a laser is used to remove the implant with minimal damage to the adjacent soft and hard tissues. This is far better than using the traditional approach of trephining the implant body.
How are implants done?
In the past, getting dental implants was a long and complicated process, which required almost 6 months of waiting time. Nowadays, due to current technology, implants can be placed in a quick and easy procedure with minimal downtime.
The first step is to place the implant into the bone. This is a painless process done under local anesthetic, and it takes approximately 10 minutes per implant.
In some cases, we can even extract problematic teeth and put the implants in their place in the same appointment. This process is called immediate loading.
Next, we wait approximately 1.5-2 months for integration to occur. During this waiting period we provide our patients with temporary teeth for comfort and esthetics.
After that, we place healing caps, which are small screw-like caps placed on top of the implants to allow the gums to heal around them and take a proper shape. Approximately 10 days later we take impressions, and finally, we put the final crowns on the implants. They are now ready to function and look just like natural teeth.