It’s safe to say that all the dental procedures we use today have been around since man had teeth.
The earliest form of dental implants
In the past, someone else’s tooth or bone, an animal tooth, a stone, a shell, or metals like iron or copper were put into cavities in people’s mouths once filled by their teeth. These fused well with the patient’s jawbone, becoming a perfect tooth replacement. While the possibility of infection was extremely high, the ancient Mexican and Mayans thought these were great replacements. The ancient Chinese used carved bamboo pegs.
Today, titanium, gold, zirconium dioxide, and aluminium oxide-based ceramic are used. Dentists prefer titanium as it’s perfectly compatible with your jawbone and is the most durable. In the future, a new bone regeneration material, which has been developed by researchers and is derived from plant cellulose, may be used.
What happens if you don’t have a dental implant?
If you lose a tooth, for whatever reason, you will have a hole in your jaw. If you do nothing, and depending on which tooth was removed, after a few days or months, new gum tissues and bone will have formed to fill the hole. Not replacing a tooth could result in rapid bone loss, defective speech, or a change in your chewing patterns.
What happens if you do have a dental implant?
A dental implant is a good idea, especially if the old tooth was a visible one. To be the best candidate for the procedure you need to:
Be an adult. Children whose jaws are still growing can’t have dental implants
Have enough bone in your jaw to take an implant, or be able to have a bone graft
Have great oral health
Have no bone healing issues
Not smoking tobacco in any form, including vaping.
Dental implant surgery procedure may require several procedures and time. The bone needs to heal and fuse to the implant. This also helps to maintain your jaw’s bone density for the teeth nearby. Healing takes time. Sometimes months.
How a dental implant is fitted
The dental implant, known as ‘the post’ and which is a cylindrical screw in appearance, is surgically inserted into the cavity left by your own tooth’s root. This is not your new tooth. It’s the root for the new tooth.
The post extension, or abutment, is screwed into the post. This has a head which forms the inner core of your new tooth. Which makes sense when you know that the visible part of the new tooth is called the crown and fits over this head. The abutment step may be done at the same time as the post insertion.
Once the healing is complete, manual, or computer impressions of all your teeth are taken to ensure the crown will fit perfectly. It’s from these impressions that the crown will be created.
The crown is then fitted.
It sounds simple, but it’s not. That’s why you need a dentist with good, solid dental implant experience. Talk to your Dentist about implants and other ways of changing your mouths appearance. If you are in Christchurch get in touch with Team Dental Riccarton for dental implants.
Contact us on 0508 TEAM DENTAL
Make an appointment today to learn more about dental implants and if you need one.