Dental implants are the most rapidly growing field in dentistry. Implants are used to replace missing teeth. The implant, made from titanium, forms an artificial root which becomes the foundation for a crown used to replace the missing tooth.
Implants do involve a high level of skill to place and restore effectively, but when done properly can offer many years of successful service.
Further notes on dental implants
A titanium implant is placed in the bone in the location of the missing tooth. Bone likes titanium and grows up and into the structures of the implant fixing it in place. This process is called osseointegration. This now forms the “root” for the proposed tooth. A connecting piece called an abutment is attached to the implant and a crown is placed on the abutment.
The first implant was placed in 1965 by Ingvar Branemark, a Swedish researcher. About a decade previously he was doing unrelated research and placed a titanium appliance into the femur of a rabbit. When he went to retrieve it (it was an expensive appliance), it couldn’t be removed: the bone had grown into and around it holding it tight. A light went on and the field of dental implants was born. Osseointegration is now also used in joint replacement procedures.
It is a new field, and continues to grow and develop. Success rates have improved enormously since the early days of research, with many implants now likely to last for a lifetime.
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