Big Or Small, Dental Implants Are A Good Call
No one would have guessed that research on rabbits would change the course of restorative dentistry throughout the world.
Yet, that’s what inspired Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark to develop dental implants. We’ll tell you more about that in a moment. For now, just know that dental implants and mini implants have made teeth replacements look, feel, and function more like real teeth than ever before.
And if you live in or near Snellville, GA, you can get implants at our dentist office.
Lucky Rabbit’s Leg?
Dr. Brånemark was a Swedish physician who also taught anatomy. In the 1950s, he was doing research on blood circulation. As part of his study, he placed titanium cylinders in the legs of rabbits.
His plan was to reuse the cylinders throughout his study. Instead, he discovered something previously unknown about titanium. Dr. Brånemark was not able to remove the cylinders as easily as he expected because of a process he later termed osseointegration.
The rabbits’ leg bones had bonded directly to the titanium as if it too were bone. Dr. Brånemark then refocused his research on ways to put this newfound knowledge to use.
In 1965, the result was the first set of dental implants placed in a human patient. This moment changed completely how dentists looked at teeth replacements.
Dental implants were developed to replace the roots of missing teeth. Prior to this, many teeth replacements, such a traditional dentures, rested over the gumline, which meant they weren’t anchored to the jawbone like natural teeth were.
How We Use Dental Implants Today
In the 1970s and 1980s, more and more dentists learned how to incorporate dental implants into their restorative dentistry.
Dr. Brånemark’s invention inspired other people to find ways to make dental implants even better. New techniques for placing implants were developing as well as new kinds of implants.
With each step, teeth replacements became better and better. Here’s how we use dental implants today:
➤ For single-tooth replacements
At one time, the best option for replacing a missing tooth was to grind down the two nearest teeth and place a dental bridge on them.
Thanks to dental implants, there’s no need to alter to two other teeth to restore your smile. By placing a dental implant where the roots of that tooth once were, we create a foundation to support a dental crown.
The result is a complete tooth replacement for you.
➤ For multiple-teeth replacements
While a single implant is an effective way to replace a single tooth, multiple implants can support a dental bridge and replace multiple teeth at the same time.
➤ For implant-supported dentures
A series of dental implants can be placed carefully in your mouth to replace an entire row of teeth. This makes dentures stable and secure.
Unlike traditional dentures, implant-supported dentures can restore nearly all of your original biting power. This means you can have a natural-looking smile and you can keep eating all the foods that you love.
What Kinds of Implants Are Right For You?
We mentioned earlier that researchers have built on Dr. Brånemark’s work to develop newer and better implants.
One example of this has become mini implants. As the name suggests, these are smaller than conventional implants. In some cases, they have a smaller diameter. In other cases, they are shorter, too.
This is important because of what happens to your jaw when you lose teeth.
The roots of your teeth help to keep your jaw strong. The pressure created when you bite and chew with your natural teeth push your roots into your jawbone. Your jaw responds to that pressure by creating new bone tissue.
This process helps your jaw maintain its shape and size. Without roots to create that pressure, your jawbone doesn’t make new bone tissue, and as a result, it begins to shrink.
If the jaw shrinks too much, it won’t be able to support full-sized implants. Thanks to mini implants, however, millions more people can enjoy the benefits of implant-supported teeth replacements.
Talk To Us About Teeth Replacements
If you or someone you love is missing teeth, please call (770) 676-1122 us or contact us online. Our dentists in Snellville, GA, would be happy to meet with you to discuss whether dental implants or mini implants would be right for you.