With a success rate of over 95 percent, dental implants are one of the most popular tooth restoration procedures due to their effectiveness. Osseointegration is the main reason behind the success and durability of implants.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a metal post, typically made of titanium that is surgically placed in the area of your jawbone where you’re missing a tooth. The jawbone grows around the titanium post to form a stable base.
Once the osseointegration process is successful, the post is topped off with an abutment, and a dental crown, which is basically a copy of your natural tooth. Even though there are multiple dental implant materials out there, most replacement teeth are made out of porcelain.
What is Osseointegration?
When an implant is placed in the area of the jawbone where you’re missing teeth, the jawbone binds with the metal post through a process known as osseointegration. Titanium is a biocompatible material, which means that it qualifies for implantation in the human body. The jawbone, therefore, grows around the titanium post to form a strong and stable foundation for the placement of a replacement tooth. The entire process takes anywhere from three to six months to be fully complete, depending on the location of the implants and the health of the jawbone.
The History of Osseointegration
Osseointegration is a critical step of the dental implant process. Researcher Per-Ingvar Brånemark accidentally discovered this phenomenon in 1952 as he employed titanium implants while conducting a research study on rabbits.
When the study was over, Brånemark had to retrieve the titanium chambers in order to reuse them. It was during this period that he found that the jawbone had grown into the threads and crevices of the titanium surface, and had become an integral part of the bone structure.
Brånemark was so annoyed by the failure of the retrieval of the titanium chambers that he didn’t consider the benefits that this discovery could provide to medical science. However, it didn’t take too long for him to realize and recognize the significant benefits of his discovery.
After years of continued scientific research and clinical testing, dental implants were finally proven to work with a pretty high success rate. Eventually, implants became a popular treatment for missing teeth.
The Science Behind Osseointegration
Bone repair is frequently seen in medicine. Many people have their shoulders, hips, knees, and other bones repaired with plates and screws. The reason we’re able to use metal to repair our bones is due to our natural ability to heal.
Since our bones are continuously growing, they can be manipulated to form a structural connection through metal devices, such as titanium.
When it comes to implants, the threaded ridge line of the jaw makes it imperative for the implant to come into contact with the bone material, allowing the bone to form connections with it.
If you are looking to get dental implants, let us walk you through the entire process at Bay Lakes Center for Complex Dentistry. Call us at (906) 212-4725 for more information.