Dental Implants and Osseointegration
When you lose teeth, replacing them is essential for restoring function and aesthetics to your mouth. At Ford Dental Group, we offer dental implants, a widely popular treatment that provides a modern alternative to treatments such as bridges and dentures. This treatment uses titanium posts, which are surgically implanted into your jaw, to support your replacement teeth. Implants offer a significant number of advantages over traditional treatments, including the more natural look and feel, greater comfort, and the fact that implants are permanent. Implants are also the only option that can stop and prevent bone loss in the jaw after you lose your teeth. To be successful, however, implants need to be integrated into the jaw in a process known as osseointegration.
What Does Osseointegration Have to do with Dental Implants?
Osseointegration is the process in which your natural bone fuses to the titanium posts as you heal from implant surgery. It was the accidental discovery of this natural phenomenon that led to the development of modern-day dental implants in the first place. In the 1950s, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon was studying bone healing and regeneration. He placed a titanium cylinder in the femur of a rabbit. Later, when he went to remove it, he realized that he could not because the bone had begun fusing to the cylinder. After further research and development, he placed the first set of successful implants in the 1960s. Research and development did not stop there. Even today, there are still new developments being implemented to improve the stability of implants and their ability to integrate into the jaw.
Why is Osseointegration Important for Dental Implants?
For your jaw to properly fuse to the titanium posts, you first need to have sufficient bone mass remaining in the jaw. Without enough bone mass, there is not enough to provide the necessary stability that implants need. The posts may be loose, or your bone may not fuse to the posts at all. Both of these issues can cause serious complications, including implant failure.
Just because you do not have enough bone mass remaining in your jaw at the time of your initial consultation, this does not mean that you are ineligible for implants. There are still options available. One of the first options is to restore missing bone mass, restoring strength to your jaw, with a bone graft. A bone graft is a surgical procedure that takes bone mass from elsewhere in your body, or from a donor, and places it in the weakened areas of your jaw. You may also be eligible for All-on-4® Treatment Concept. This treatment avoids the need for a bone graft by strategically placing implants to take advantage of the bone mass you do have left.
The Benefits of Successful Osseointegration
When successful osseointegration is complete, the titanium posts are essentially transformed into stable replacement roots that are then used to hold your ceramic crowns securely in place. The posts mimic the functions of your natural tooth roots and stimulate the jawbone when you chew. This restores the message to your body so that sufficient nutrients are sent. As a result, bone loss in the jaw is halted, and the strength and integrity of your jawbone is preserved.
When dental implants are fully, and successfully, integrated into your jawbone, you have a stable support network that works to hold your new teeth securely in place. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, and finding out if they are the right option for you, call Ford Dental Group today at (714) 409-6161.