Dental implants have existed in theory for thousands of years. Then, with the discovery of titanium, we were able to focus on creating implants for specific circumstances. These implants were designed to integrate seamlessly with the body, essentially become part of the bone structure through a process of bio-integration. Titanium implants have a very special quality, which greatly facilitates this. Titanium has the ability to fuse with tissue, through osseointegration, allowing the tissue to interact with it and also creating a far smaller chance of being rejected by the body. Additionally the titanium implants are impervious to the conditions around them since they form a thin film on their surface which makes them completely resistant to corrosive elements. Finally, these implants are made of a metal that is both strong and light, which in turn has given us the ability to furnish you with a base for false teeth that look, feel, and act like natural teeth.
Integration is key for dental implants to work. To help this process along we have made many advancements, including the use of a variety of different surfaces for the implants. Today, you can get a dental implant that is acid-etched, plasma-sprayed, or grit-blasted. Of all the surfaces, perhaps the most interesting is a hydroxyapatite-coated surface. Hydroxyapatite occurs naturally in human bone, so when this implant is inserted into the bone, it tricks the body into believing that it is in fact part of the bone itself. This greatly speeds up the acceptance and healing process. In addition to surfaces, titanium implants, and hydroxyapatite coating, implants must be designed based on the strength of the bone tasked with supporting it. To that end, there are a number of different designs of implants that we use, two of the most common of which are examined here.
Root Form Dental Implants
A root form dental implant is what a person typically thinks of when they consider a dental implant. This device is inserted into the bone, underneath the gum tissue at the site where the fake tooth needs to be attached. This kind of an implant depends on the strength of the bone to be secure and stable. Since the bone is critical to the stability of these implants, the bone needs to have a certain amount of density and durability for us to do this install. The implant itself is cone-shaped, very often in the shape of a screw or nail which is easily inserted into the bone, leaving a flat surface that the crown will be attached to.
Ramus Frame Dental Implants
For those people whose jaw is not strong enough to stand up to the rigors of a regular root form dental implant, we have another device known as a Ramus Frame implant. This implant is very helpful in the event that the jaw is at risk of fracturing since it provides a level of stability to the jaw itself. Attached in the far back corners of the mouth, or near the chin in the center of the mouth, this dental implant leaves a thin metal strip exposed that allows us to attach the bridge or dentures.
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