What are Dental Implants?

As the dental field grows and evolves just like any other profession, the treatment options for replacing a missing tooth or missing teeth have also evolved. Dental implants are the most successful option for tooth replacement these days. Believe it or not, the first modern day titanium dental implant was placed in 1965 and lasted for over 40 years. Before 1965, the concept of dental implants was noted over 4,000 years ago with the use of bamboo pegs being placed into the jaw to replace a missing tooth. How cool is that?!

dental chair

So, What Has Made Dental Implants So Successful Over the Years and What Does Getting a Dental Implant Entail Today?

Dental implants have become so successful because they rely on no other teeth for placement. This is different from say, a dental bridge or partial denture. When a patient has a tooth that is deemed unrestorable due to a fracture, decay or infection, a dentist will provide you with a list of options to replace the tooth for after it has been removed. A dental implant will be one of these options.

A dental implant is a metal fixture designed to integrate with a patient’s bone to provide stability in order to attach a prosthetic crown. Typically, after a tooth is removed, a patient will require 4 months of healing in order for his or her bone and potential bone graft material to heal. Once a dentist has determined the bone is ready for the dental prothesis, an hour appointment will be made to place the implant. This implant is covered and allowed to heal and integrate to the patient’s bone creating a perfect attachment for the future placement of a dental crown. Typically, this is a very easy and painless appointment for a patient and they are able to return to work that day or the day after. Many patients report that they have very little post-operative discomfort.

Four months later, the patient will return for assessment of the integration of the implant and if the dentist is happy with the healing that has taken place, an impression will be taken to make the crown. Shortly after this appointment, the patient is able to return for the final crown to be screwed on to the implant or cemented into place.

Over the years, research has shown that dental implants have the highest success rate for tooth replacement. Success rates 10 years post placement are over 98%.

What Is the Best Time to Get a Dental Implant?

Most dentists will recommend implant placement as soon as 4 months after a tooth is removed. This is the ideal timeframe because bone has been able to heal and strengthen during this time. If a patient waits too long for implant placement after a tooth has been removed, they risk the chance of bone resorption in the area and additional bone grafting procedures may be needed or even risk the chance that an implant placement in the area is no longer an option.

Another consideration dentists take in planning for implant placement and ideal timing is with younger kids. Implants typically are not placed in teens because they still have growing to do. This includes the growth of their jaw bone. Dentists want to make sure the placement of their implant is in an ideal location that won’t change if the patient grows.

Find Your Trusted Dentist for Dental Implants at Ashley Dental in Hudson, WI. We Welcome Any Questions You May Have.