Building up smiles
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, dental practitioners can now do more than was ever thought previously possible. Thanks to the privileges that the age of digital prosperity has brought to the field of dentistry, practitioners are able to achieve feats of engineering and design that were previously unimaginable just a few decades prior. By working on the frontiers of innovation and dental science, an increasing number of new patients are seeking out their trusted dentist in Richmond to help them achieve the smiles and level of oral health they desire.
One procedure which is testimony to the symbiotic nature of technology and dental science, is the dental implant process. Many people suffer from tooth loss due to trauma or decay, and a great portion of those who do don’t have the remaining space within their jaw filled. This can potentially lead to a range of serious health implications, and can even cause bone loss to the patient’s facial structure if left for a considerable length of time.
Whilst common dental and orthodontic treatments for lost teeth – such as crowns or dental bridges – work by filling in the gap on a superficial basis and sit on the patient’s gumline, dental implants are surgically embedded within the patient’s jawbone. Many of those who wear bridges or dentures often find them to be largely uncomfortable and can cause trouble when chewing tough foods. Nowadays however, it is possible to create an artificial tooth that not only resembles a natural one, but feels the same too.
How do dental implants work?
The foundations of dental implants operate by embedding a false tooth-root inside the jawbone of the patient where they are missing the tooth or teeth which are being replaced. Titanium-alloy is used in the creation of the socket or root which is placed within the patient’s jaw and is specifically called upon as it is the only metal that can successfully bond itself together with biological matter and merge together.
This biocompatibility and application within dentistry was literally stumbled upon quite accidentally in 1952 when an orthopedist discovered a titanium-alloy cylinder which had bonded with the femur of a rabbit. Since that time, the technology and application within orthodontics have improved exponentially, and today it is possible to completely and comfortably use a titanium alloy socket as a false tooth-root anchor point.
What does the process involve?
Prior to the actual installation of dental implants to replace a missing tooth, it is essential that a practitioner assess each patient’s level of gum and oral health. This is of key importance as if the patient has periodontal disease (gum disease) then it may stand in the way of the success of the treatment. If the patient is fit and healthy however, the practitioner will then administer a local anesthetic to the patient before stripping back a portion of their gums where they are missing a tooth.
They will then drill a hole into the patient’s jawbone, into which the titanium-alloy root is inserted and sealed over to heal. After a short time period that follows, the socket will be firmly and permanently fused as it will have merged with the bone tissue in their jaw. After this, it can be used as an anchor point to attach a replica denture which would be as sturdy as a natural tooth and be indistinguishable to their surrounding teeth.