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How It Works: Dental Implants


Dental implants are used in dentistry to act as a natural tooth root. Typically titanium implants are used to do this. These structures are used to support tooth restorations. Some examples of prostheses used in conjunction with implants: crowns, dentures and bridges.

In the past, blade endosseous and subperiosteal implants were used. Blade endosseous structures were made from metal and resembled flat blades. They were placed inside the bone. Subperiosteal implants were invented to attach to exposed jawbones. Today, root-form endosseous implants are most common. They are placed within the bone. These structures are similar to natural tooth roots in their look and feel.

These structures are primarily composed of pure titanium. The screws used for the implant are made to copy the natural root with a smooth or rough surface. The surface can be manipulated through anodizing, sandblasting, plasma spraying or etching.

Before implant surgery is conducted, a dentist may suggest other procedures and tests. A radiograph may be done to identify the shapes, structures and dimensions in the mouth of the patient. This is an integral step in the process because it ensures that the structure is properly sized and oriented. A dentist may conduct a CT scan as well. Sometimes stents are used to assist surgeons with placement.

During surgery, the bone is prepped using precision drills or hand osteotomes. Both have the ability to regulate speed to avoid pressure necrosis in the area. The bone must grow to the surface of the implant before a restoration can be added. This process, called osseointegration, can take a considerable amount of time. Bone quantity and quality impact how long after placement a restoration can be added.

Most doctors wait six months for the mouth to heal. Though the time between surgery and adding the restoration will vary with dentist. If a restoration is added too soon, it can lead to implant failure. Some of these structures will take up to a year and a half to heal. Success rate for this surgery is estimated at 95 percent. Oral hygiene, high quality and quantity of bone, surgeon skill, maintenance of implant and effective post-surgical care are linked to positive outcomes. Failure of this procedure is usually do to the lack of osseointegration.

Something to keep in mind is the importance of the jawbone. It’s mass and strength. The bone has to have enough strength to support the implant. If it does not, a graft procedure may be able to fix the problem. Keep in mind that even after the procedure, the tooth will need to be maintained. Regular check ups are suggested.

As with any surgery, complications can occur. Infection of the surrounding gums and bones is not uncommon. If the body recognizes the implant as a foreign object, it may reject it. Though uncommon, metal fixtures can come out and the implant fails. Periodontal disease and bone loss can occur as a result of the procedure. The incision point and reopen and create problems. Inflammation around the gums and bones is possible as well.

Toronto cosmetic dentist provides advanced cosmetic and general dentistry procedures such as porcelain veneers Toronto, dental implants Toronto and more. A professional dentist such as Dr. Eric Rouah & Associates 5000 Yonge Street, Suite 107, Toronto, ON M2N 7J8 (416) 224-0677 can help restore your teeth and your smile.