Once upon a time, in the 1950s, a Swedish physician was doing research on blood circulation. In this particular study, he placed titanium cylinders into the legs of rabbits.
The plan was to remove the cylinders and reuse them throughout this research.
But a funny thing happened.
The rabbits’ leg bones bonded to the titanium, making them extremely difficult to remove. At that point, Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark decided to push his research in another direction.
He recognized the value of his discovery and even coined a new word — osseointegration — to describe what he had found. Using that knowledge, he successfully placed the first modern dental implants into a human patient in September 1965.
Today dental implants have revolutionized tooth replacement in modern dentistry. They are used all over the world, including right here at Newingham Dental Center.
If you live in Birmingham, MI, or in nearby communities like Royal Oak or Troy, call our dentist office right away if you think dental implants could help you.
Three Ways To Benefit From Dental Implants
Dr. Brånemark was recently inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for developing modern dental implants.
Other people have innovated on his original design to make it even better, and today our patients are the beneficiaries of decades of research and development.
Dental implants are used to replace the roots of missing teeth. Like roots, the serve as anchors in the jawbone. Implants can be used to in conjunction with other tooth replacements to create the closest thing to new teeth that we can offer.
To help explain, here are the three ways that we put dental implants to use for our patients.
▸ With Dentures
You may have had a grandparent who wore dentures. Even if you didn’t, you have probably seen the advertisements for denture adhesives at one time or another.
The adhesives only provide a temporary benefit, but they are necessary since traditional dentures rest over your gums.
Most dentures are shaped to fit in your mouth. The problem is that your jaw will continue to lose bone mass without something implants to spur it to created new tissue. Over time, your jaw will change shape enough that it affects the fit of your dentures, which can make them uncomfortable.
Even when they fit correctly, traditional dentures will come loose. This can be during a meal, during a funny story, or during a sneeze.
You can secure your dentures in place, and protect the health of your jawbone, with a series of dental implants. When placed correctly, these provide a level of security that isn’t possible with traditional dentures.
▸ With Dental Bridges
Any dental bridge is made to fill the space created by missing teeth. That space can draw a lot of unwanted attention to your smile (or lack thereof).
For some people, that space becomes a source of shame, and they find themselves trying to avoid smiling whenever possible.
And yes, you can have trouble biting and chewing food when you have a large gap between your teeth.
A traditional bridge requires removing parts of two possibly healthy teeth. That isn’t necessary with an implant-supported bridge.
The number of implants will depend on the size of the bridge. Once they are in place, they can restore the appearance of your smile along with your ability to bite and chew food comfortably again.
▸ With Dental Crowns
Before dental implants came into regular use, people often got dental bridges to replace a single missing tooth.
This meant removing part of two other teeth and making a bridge that consisted of three crowns just to replace a solitary lost tooth.
With dental implants, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. We can place a dental implant in the gap in your jaw and bond a dental crown to it instead.
Again, this will restore the appearance and the function of your lost tooth, and we won’t have to damage otherwise healthy teeth in the process.
Whether you are looking to replace a single tooth or every tooth in your mouth, dental implants add a layer of strength and stability.
The longer you wait to ask about dental crowns, the more you are at risk of losing more teeth and more jawbone density. At Newingham Dental Center, we want to give you back everything you lost when you lost your teeth.