Tragically, people of any age can find themselves missing teeth. Whether tooth loss is from decay, periodontal disease, or injury, the loss of teeth can have a broad range of negative effects from appearance to speech to digestion. At one time, dentures were the only replacement for missing teeth. Today, however, there is a much better option: dental implants.
For more than 4,000 years, humans dreamt of a way to replace missing teeth. Archaeologists found the ancient Chinese were creating dental implants made of bamboo as far back as 2000 BCE.
Today, the procedure for dental implants is relatively simple. A post is inserted into the jawbone. In a few months, the bone and post have become one and are as strong as a natural root would be. Then, an abutment is attached to the titanium post, requiring another week or two for gums to heal. Finally, an artificial tooth, which matches the surrounding teeth, is custom made and attached to the abutment.
Yet, in the years between 2000 BCE and the middle of the 20th century, not much progress was made because the problem was always the same: every material used to fasten the tooth to the bone was rejected by the body.
It wasn’t until 1952 that Per-Ingvar Brånemark of Sweden inadvertently discovered that titanium was the first material capable of integrating completely with bone without any rejection issues. Brånemark immediately envisioned titanium being used in dental implants and, in 1965, titanium implants were successfully placed in the first human patient.
It’s been 66 years since that first titanium implant, and those years have brought many advances in materials and technology. Today, if given the same care you’d give your natural teeth, dental implants can last a lifetime. Plus, compared with missing teeth or wearing dentures, dental implants have many other advantages. For example, dental implants:
- Look and feel like natural teeth, improving appearance and self-confidence
- Are made of porcelain or ceramic so they never get cavities
- Improve the ability to eat and speak because, unlike dentures, they don’t move around
- Have a success rate of up to 98%
- Improve nutrition and health by expanding the list of foods that can be eaten
Are dental implants right for you? The only way to know is to ask your dentist. Make an appointment with Dr. Brei or Dr. Schneider to discuss the best options for you.
There are many ways to get in touch with the office of Dr. Brei and Dr. Schneider. You can email them at email@example.com, call them at 520-325-9000, or click here to book an appointment directly.