The Science Of Dental Impants
Dental implants are one of the most exciting advancements in dental technology. Thanks to implants, it's possible to replace an entire tooth, from the roots to the crown. Your Bayside, NY, dentists at Silverman & Associates, University Dental Family Dentistry share some of the science behind dental implants.
A happy accident
Swedish physician Per-Ingvar Branemark was conducting an experiment on blood flow characteristics when he discovered that titanium fuses to bones. As part of the experiment, he injected titanium, a lightweight metal, into the bones of rabbits. Removing the titanium at the end of the research project proved to be very difficult, as the titanium had bonded to the rabbits' bones.
Dr. Branemark realized that titanium was the perfect material for implants that would replace the roots of missing teeth. Although he first tested his new technology on a patient in the 1960s, implants weren't recognized as a viable way to replace missing teeth until the 1980s.
How implants can help you
When you lose a tooth, the jawbone underneath the missing tooth begins to weaken and recede. Eventually, bone loss can lead to further tooth loss and facial sagging. The problem occurs because your tooth roots constantly stimulate your jawbone and keep it strong. Once a tooth is lost, the bone no longer receives the necessary stimulation and begins to weaken.
Since dental implants replace the roots of your teeth, they continue to stimulate the bone, preventing bone loss. Implants also offer several other benefits, including:
- Comfort: Poorly fitting bridges or dentures can irritate your sensitive gum tissue, causing pain every time you take a bite. Because the crown that sits on top of your implant is securely attached to the implant, both pieces act as one unit and function like a natural tooth. In fact, your new implant will feel very much like a natural tooth.
- Improved Ability to Bite and Chew: It's hard to chew when you are missing one or more teeth. Some people find chewing so difficult that they resort to swallowing food whole, which can lead to stomach upset. Implants restore your ability to bite and chew normally.
- Easy Care: Brushing and flossing is all that's needed to keep your implants in good condition. Flossing is especially important, as failure to keep the space around the bottom of your crown clean can lead to an infection that can loosen your implant.
Interested in learning more about dental implants? Call your Bayside, NY, dentists at Silverman & Associates, University Dental Family Dentistry at (718) 225-0515 to schedule an appointment.