Dental implants are a highly popular treatment for replacing missing teeth, providing you with a modern alternative to traditional bridges or dentures. Placing dental implants is a more involved process that involves a surgical procedure. During this procedure, small titanium posts are inserted into your jawbone to provide support for your new teeth. For the implants to be successful, the bone needs to fuse to the posts in a process known as osseointegration. At Southern Arizona Periodontics, we can help to determine if this process is possible.
What is Osseointegration?
Osseointegration is the natural process that occurs after your implants have been placed. This process is the fusion of your jawbone to the titanium. It is essential for the stability and success of your dental implants. The process was accidentally discovered by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon back in the 1950s when he was researching bone healing and regeneration. This discovery led him to conduct further research, which eventually led to the development of dental implants. He placed the first implants successfully in 1965. From there, he continued to research and development, refining implants to make them stronger, more reliable, and more successful. Even today, there is research being conducted to further improve upon this incredible tooth replacement option to make it even better and available to more patients.
Your Jawbone and Implant Stability
For osseointegration to occur successfully, you need to have enough bone mass in your jaw. After tooth loss, the jawbone begins to lose mass and grow weak. If the bone grows too weak, it cannot properly fuse to the posts. In some cases, it may not be able to fuse at all. This leads to restorations being loose and wobbly, or in restorations that fail.
Even if you do not have sufficient bone mass, there are ways in which implants are still possible. One way is with a bone graft. This is a surgical procedure in which bone material is harvested from another area of your body, or taken from a tissue donor, and transplanted to the weak areas of your jaw. As you heal, the strength of your jaw is restored and implants can then be placed. Another option, if you are missing an entire arch of teeth, is the All on four treatment concept. This treatment uses only four posts, but they are placed in a way that allows them to take full advantage of your existing bone mass without the need for a bone graft.
Benefits of Proper Osseointegration
When osseointegration is successful, it provides several significant benefits. The biggest benefit is that the implant posts are turned into strong, stable roots that can provide your restorations with secure support. Neither the posts nor your restorations will move around or fall out. The other major benefit to successful osseointegration is that the implant posts are then able to function just like the roots of your natural teeth. In addition to holding your restorations in place, the posts provide stimulation for your jawbone. This restores the delivery of essential nutrients to the jaw, helping the bone to remain strong and healthy.
With successful osseointegration, your implants can hold your new teeth securely in place. For more information, and to find out if implants are the right solution for you, call Southern Arizona Periodontics at 520-322-9300 today.