Dental implants have become pretty commonplace in the last decade or two. Due to this relatively new attention, people think implants are a new thing. Truth be told, implants were first introduced to modern dentistry over 50 years ago.
They’ve been around far longer than that; you just wouldn’t call those early versions very “modern.” In ancient archeological digs, people have been uncovered with implanted seashells and ivory in place of missing teeth. Let’s just say Dr. Steier isn’t a fan of implanting cochina shells from our Boca beaches!
You can pinpoint 1952 as the year that the true modern implant came on the scene. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was conducting a study of bone healing and regeneration. He inserted a titanium screw into a rabbit tibia to mend a break but found that when he tried to remove the screw later the bone had fully grown around it and it couldn’t be removed. A decade of research followed and the modern dental implant debuted in 1965.
When a patient is missing a tooth or teeth, Dr. Steier believes dental implants are far and away the best solution. They return the best functionality to the patient and allow freedom to enjoy an unlimited diet again. This is because, once in place, a dental implant functions basically like a natural tooth.
Many people are tempted to not replace a missing tooth or a couple of teeth, either due to the cost or to avoid the hassle. But this is a bad idea for some reasons. Of course, there is the cosmetic aspect of a smile missing a tooth or two. But there is a bite problem, as well. Teeth are kept in place by pressure from the adjacent teeth. When a tooth is extracted or lost, the teeth on each side of the new gap tend to slide over into the gap because they no longer have pressure from the tooth on their one side. This can create real problems with your bite and the spacing of your teeth.
Facts about missing teeth and implants
Dr. Steier is a big fan of dental implants. What’s your dental implant IQ? See if you know these facts about implants.
- 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
- An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
- Dental implants are a titanium screw that is set into the hole in the jawbone where the natural tooth root was anchored. The jawbone then grows around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
- Once in place, implants function like a natural tooth, transferring the energy from biting and chewing down into the jawbone beneath the artificial tooth. This stimulation is responsible for the jawbone continually renewing itself, a process that prevents bone loss.
- Implants can also be used to anchor partial or complete dentures.
- Implants now have a 98% success rate.
Dental implants are Dr. Steier’s preferred option for tooth replacement. If you’re missing a tooth, call us at 561-395-3190 and ask about dental implants.