Dental implants are tooth-like structures that are embedded into the jaw bones to replace one or more missing teeth. They can also be used to support a full set of denture teeth when there is not enough bone support for resting them upon the gums. Typically dental implants have a long cylindrical shape made of medical-grade titanium. Historically, Professor Branemark from Sweden is the first to have inserted a modern day titanium implant into a patient’s mouth in 1965.
Today there are over 60 different suppliers who manufacture implants. Whilst the majorities are made of machined, textured or coated titanium; there are some non-metallic ceramic implants available. Some medical reports suggest that up to 5% of the population may be sensitive to titanium and for these patients ceramic-based implants may be an option.
We generally do NOT recommend immediate “loading” of newly placed implants as there is a higher risk of implant problems. Dental implants are normally placed in the jaw and left for the bone to grow around it for 3 − 6 months before the final crown is placed over it.
Whilst implants enjoy a high success rate after placement in the mouth, there are a people for whom for this procedure is not recommended. If you suffer with uncontrolled diabetes, have a bone disorder or a heavy smoker the chances of implant failure are much higher. Just like normal teeth, implants can become infected and be rejected by the body.
The emerging trend of non-metallic implants is showing promise, however, current research does demonstrate more long issues for all-ceramic dental implants. The main advantages of choosing all-ceramic (Zirconia) dental implants include:
1) More natural tooth colour
2) They resist the buildup of bacteria better and therefore the gums are often easier to keep clean.
3) Ceramic implants also do not impact on the body’s subtle nervous system from (as they are non-conducting) or the acupuncture-meridian system.
At Happy Teeth, we will always assess your health status and your cosmetic needs before we recommend dental implants as part of your overall treatment plan.