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Dental Implants | Dental Implant Specialists | LADD Dental Group

What are dental implants?

Dental implants as we know them today were invented in 1952 by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar BrÃ¥nemark. Today, they are considered the standard of care for prosthetic replacement of missing teeth in dentistry. A dental implant is a surgical fixture that is placed into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with the bone over the span of a few months. The dental implant acts as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. In turn, this "artificial tooth root" serves to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Having a dental implant fused to the jawbone is the closest thing to mimicking a natural tooth because it stands on its own without affecting the nearby teeth and has great stability. The process of fusion between the dental implant and jawbone is called "osseointegration." Most dental implants are made of titanium, which allows them to integrate with bone without being recognized as a foreign object in our body. Over time, technology and science have progressed to greatly improve the outcomes of dental implant placement. Today, the success rate for dental implants is close to 98%.

When would someone need a dental implant?

Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or all of the teeth. The goal of teeth replacement in dentistry is to restore function as well as aesthetics.
When it comes to tooth replacement, generally, there are three options: (1) removable dental appliance (complete denture or partial denture), (2) fixed dental bridge (cemented), and (3) dental implant. Dentures are the more affordable option for replacement teeth but are the least desirable because of the inconvenience of a removable appliance in the mouth. Furthermore, dentures can affect one's taste and sensory experience with food. Dental bridgework was the more common restorative option prior to the relatively recent shift to dental implant treatment. The main disadvantage to bridgework is the dependence on existing natural teeth for support. Implants are supported by bone only and do not affect surrounding natural teeth. Deciding on which option to choose depends on many factors. Specifically for dental implants, these factors include
  • location of missing tooth or teeth,
  • quantity and quality of the jawbone where the dental implant is to be placed,
  • health of the patient,
  • cost, and
  • patient preference.
A dental surgeon examines the area to be considered for the dental implant and makes a clinical assessment of whether the patient is a good candidate for a dental implant.
There are great advantages to choosing a dental implant for tooth replacement over the other options. Dental implants are conservative in that missing teeth can be replaced without affecting or altering the adjacent teeth. Furthermore, because dental implants integrate into the bone structure, they are very stable and can ha

What types of doctors specialize in dental implants?

Implant surgery can be performed by any licensed dentist provided that the treatment follows the standard of care and is in the best interest of the patient. However, since implants are surgically placed in the jawbone, dental specialists who routinely perform surgery within the jawbone are the natural fit for implant surgery. Oral maxillofacial surgeons (oral surgeons) treat all hard and soft-tissue diseases or defects, which includes extraction of teeth and jaw surgeries. Periodontists treat disease of the surrounding structures of teeth such as the gum and jawbone. Both oral surgeons and periodontists often specialize in dental implant placement.
Once the implant has integrated fully into the jawbone, the next phase involves placement of the implant crown that will be supported by the implant. This is typically performed by the general dentist or a prosthodontist (dental specialist focused on tooth replacement), and they look and feel of one's own natural teeth.  

If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, give LADD Dental Group a call today, and learn what their dental implant specialists can do for you and your smile!

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