Getting dental implants can be an incredible gift to yourself. Not only do they look natural, but they also function just like your teeth. Unlike dentures, implants are surgically placed into your mouth, directly into your jawbone. While we do use durable titanium screws when placing these implants into your bone material, that is not the only reason these implants stay strong and sturdy in your mouth. A special process, known as osseointegration, is what helps keep your implant in your mouth for the rest of your life.
When we here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry treat our patients who have tooth loss with a dental implant, we are careful to ensure osseointegration occurs to make sure the implant is a success.
Why is Osseointegration So Important?
Tooth loss can be a challenge for our patients. Not only does it take a toll on their self-esteem, making them feel shy and embarrassed about revealing their smile, it can also negatively impact their lives. Their bite force may be weaker, they may start to notice jaw and dental pain, and their quality of life may suffer when they realize they cannot eat their favorite foods any longer. It can also lead to further tooth loss, bone loss, shrinkage of gum tissue, and even the appearance of premature aging. Replacing your missing teeth with a dental implant, therefore, is often a great option for our patients.
The concept of dental implants has been around for a very long time, but it was not until 1965 was this procedure finally considered a success. That was because the surgeon who placed the implant on a volunteer patient decided to switch metals for the screw. When he reached for titanium, he learned that the bone and the titanium implant would fuse in a process known as osseointegration.
Osseointegration comes from the Latin root words osseo for "bone" and integration for "to make whole." The presiding surgeon noticed that in other cases, specifically non-dental surgeries when titanium was introduced to bone, the materials joined. The final result was something that was stronger, more durable, and one that the body would not reject.
The concept of osseointegration is a curious one. The body has a system in place to help keep foreign bodies and potential invaders out. This system has been effective, keeping us alive as a species for a very long time. We have to bypass this natural survival instinct to make dental implants a success, which is why osseointegration is so important. Instead of rejecting the titanium implant, the body instead embraces it as part of itself and bonds to the titanium screw. Over the next few months, the body will continue to heal and build up around the screw. Once it is finally fully attached to the bone, we will be able to continue with the rest of your implant procedure by placing the restoration into your mouth on top of the titanium implant.
Want To Learn More?
Dental implant surgery is a safe and routine procedure, and if our patients are compliant and take good care of them, they have an impressive 98 percent success rate. Much of this success is due in part to your own body's acceptance of the titanium implant. To learn more about osteointegration, please give us here at Tieken Smiles Dentistry a call at (281) 942-0444 today!