The use of a dental implant Melbourne in the treatment of tooth loss has seen a surge in the last three decades. Before dental implants were established, crowns, dentures and bridges were used on their own to replace missing teeth. Dental implants have become a very popular alternative due to their high success rate and because they are a permanent solution for addressing missing teeth. A dental implant works as a solid foundation to support a crown or bridge and provides much greater retention, stability and support in comparison to a crown, bridge or denture alone.
Much study, research and development has been carried out in the field of dental implants, and as its popularity continues to grow, more and more dentists are specialising in implant surgery.
The discovery of osseointegration
Dental implants work using an interesting yet highly complex process which is known as osseointegration. This process was first discovered by a Swedish researcher, Dr Branemark, in the 1960s. Dr Branemark was using a titanium inspection chamber which he inserted directly into the tibia of a rabbit. When he went to remove it he found that it was firmly embedded into the bone and could not be removed. Microscopic examination revealed that osteoblasts, or bone cells, had grown into the crevices and threads of the titanium surface holding it firmly in place, so that it had become a permanent fixture inside the bone. This process became known as osseointegration and is the mechanism behind successful implant surgery.
Although Dr Branemark discovered the process by accident, since then after much research, titanium is now widely used to create dental implants and in other surgical procedures. Titanium is highly biocompatible, it has good resistance to corrosion, and it does not cause toxicity or any inflammatory response in bone tissue. This makes it ideal for the replacement of missing teeth.
Are dental implants suitable for you?
To make sure that dental implants are the right treatment option for you, your dentist will need to undertake a thorough assessment of your teeth and gums. They will also collect a full dental and medical history to ensure that successful osseointegration can occur. There are many different factors which can affect the success of osseointegration, such as underlying dental issues and other diseases. Patients with diabetes, clotting disorders, osteoporosis and immune system disorders are not suitable for implant surgery, but your dentist may be able to provide you with other treatment options. Smokers have been reported to have significantly lower success rates with dental implants.
Another important factor in the success of osseointegration is sufficient healthy jawbone. If you do not have sufficient healthy bone volume, then a grafting technique will be necessary prior to implant surgery, in order to increase the amount of hard tissue.
Once you are ready for the procedure a small hole will be drilled into the bone socket of your missing tooth and the implant will be placed directly into the hole to initiate osseointegration. The process itself can take approximately twelve weeks for the dental implant to be securely embedded in place. Speak to your dentist to find out more about dental implants, osseointegration and how you can achieve a permanent solution for your missing teeth.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.