DenTAL IMPLANTS

Dental Implants Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.

Dental Implants Presentation

Your teeth affect your whole body. When they’re healthy, you’re healthier too. A missing tooth can affect your bite, speech and eating choices. As you rely more on your remaining teeth, you increase the chance they will wear out prematurely, or be damaged or lost. 

Titanium dental implants have become the ideal replacement for a missing tooth or teeth.  For the following reasons they are superior to the alternative tooth replacement options. 

Strength 

Traditional dental implants are made from titanium or titanium alloy.  This material is highly resistant to fracture. It can withstand the repeated pressure that comes from chewing even the toughest foods — foods that you might not dare to touch with traditional dentures. It also endures well under forces that cause bending (flexural strength).  

Biocompatibility 

If a material is biocompatible, that means it works well within the human body. The titanium alloy used to make dental implants is very biocompatible. It is even capable of bonding with the surrounding bone tissue in a process known as osseointegration. It is thus able to provide the strongest base of support possible for the artificial teeth that go on top of it. 

A High Success Rate 

Titanium dental implants have been around since 1965, but their popularity really took off in the 1970s. Thus, researchers have had more than 50 years to analyze their long-term success rate. While the numbers vary from study to study, results consistently reveal that dental implants are successful. In fact, according to some research, their success rate is over 95%. 

Longevity 

For the majority of patients who invest in titanium dental implants, they can expect the results of their treatment to endure for decades. In fact, with proper care (including excellent oral hygiene and regular dental checkups), implants should last an entire lifetime! 

Jawbone Preservation 

When a natural tooth goes missing, the bone that once supported it begins to deteriorate. Over time, it can lose a significant portion of its mass. Because dental implants bond with the bone and act as substitute for a tooth root, they stimulate the surrounding tissue. They can therefore prevent excessive bone loss, which maintains important facial form and structure. 

*****We now offer Zirconia implants, the non-metal alternative to titanium implants

Dental implants made of titanium and titanium alloys are considered a gold standard in implant dentistry due to their exceptional mechanical properties listed above and long-term clinical success.  However, the main drawback of a titanium implant is its dark gray color, which may occasionally be visible through the peri-implant mucosa, hence influencing esthetic outcomes, specifically in thin mucosal areas and anterior region. Therefore, a ceramic implant is turning out to be a more and more popular treatment option designed in anticipation of achieving a better esthetic outcome. 

What is ceramic/zirconia? 

The entry of zirconia transformed the market as a promising material with good mechanical properties, high biocompatibility and excellent esthetics, all of which encouraged researchers to investigate its possible use as a material for endosseous implants. The one used in the production of dental implants is yttria(Y2O3)-stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (Y-TZP) which has proven to be an attractive metal-free alternative to titanium as it exhibits more significant corrosion and wear resistance, an excellent flexural strength and furthermore, the compressive strength of zirconia implants is adequate in occlusion, and it can withstand occlusal loads for a more extended period.  

Is zirconia as good as titanium? 

One of the most essential criteria for the success of implant treatment is osseointegration, which is the direct structural and functional interface between the living bone and surface of a load-bearing implant.  In preclinical studies, zirconia implants have demonstrated similar healing and osseointegration as observed with titanium implants.  Also, removal torque values were also equivalent to titanium implants. These reports were further confirmed by clinical investigations demonstrating survival rates of the zirconia implants from 97.6% to 100% after one year. These are values within the range of reported one-year survival and success rates for a titanium or titanium alloy implants.  A recent multi-center study reported survival and success rates of 97.2% after five years. 

Summary: YES. Studies have shown zirconia implants to be just as successful in function as titanium implants.  

Is it biocompatible? 

The biocompatibility of an implant material depends on its chemical, physical, and structural properties that may influence the cell response at the tissue-material interface. Roughened Y-TZP was found to be an appropriate substrate for the proliferation and spreading of osteoblastic cells.  Zirconia did not exert a cytotoxic effect on osteoblasts in vitro and made the cells capable of growth and development.  When compared to titanium surfaces, the zirconia surface showed increased fibrinogen adsorption, platelet adhesion, activation, and thrombogenicity. Studies on bacterial adhesion on the zirconia surface determined that plaque formation on this surface might be less. Also, a significantly reduced three-species biofilm thickness, human biofilm mass, and human plaque thickness was seen in vitro when compared to titanium surfaces.  A higher degree of soft tissue integration around the ceramic implant than titanium was observed and an ideal papilla-crown proportion around zirconia implants was reported in a 3-year follow-up study. 

Summary: YES. Studies show resistance to bacterial accumulation and improved soft tissue response in the mouth.  

What about the esthetics? 

Most patients perceive treatment as successful when they are satisfied with the overall esthetic appearance after the procedure. Zirconia implants are white in color, which resembles the color of natural teeth. This is an advantage in patients with thinner gingival tissues or a high lip line smile. 

The review of peri-implant soft tissue color suggested that the color outcome might be influenced by both the implant and the abutment material. Ceramic components, when compared to metallic ones, appear to provide an improved color matching between peri-implant soft tissues and soft tissues around natural teeth.  Excellent esthetic outcomes and papilla formation around ceramic implants have been reported in several clinical studies even for challenging indications. 

Summary: YES. The improved esthetic appearance of zirconia implants is driving their popularity and a major indication for their use.  

Is it clinically proven? 

Ceramic implants have rapidly demonstrated numerous benefits on par with titanium as an implant material in various clinical trials.  They have had FDA approval since 2007, and the ceramic material has been used to make dental implants in Europe since 1987. As the technology and methods have evolved with titanium implants and undeniably the field of dentistry overall, many amendments have also been executed to the concept of ceramic implants that have significantly improved their standard.  Zirconia implants become more and more popular treatment option, and the amount of published scientific evidence supporting their clinical application is continuously growing.  There is more than enough data to confirm the long-term sustainability of zirconia dental implants, even by conventional standards. 

Summary: YES. Zirconia implants have demonstrated excellent clinical performance and can be considered a safe and predictable treatment alternative. 

Quick Review of Tooth Replacement Options

You can select from a number of different options to replace your missing teeth – from temporary to long-lasting solutions.

A good candidate is anyone missing one or more teeth, or who is unhappy with their dentures. Age is not a factor. However, smoking, diseases such as diabetes, and radiation therapy to the area, have been shown to lower the success rate of implant placement. X-rays of your jaw will be taken to evaluate whether they will accommodate implants. Detailed x-rays may also be required to determine if other tests or procedures are needed to place implants properly.

An example of a dental fixed bridge

Fixed Bridge

A fixed bridge is a connected set of replacement teeth. For support, it is cemented into position on top of the teeth adjacent to the empty space. The protective outer layer of these teeth is usually removed or ground down prior to attaching the bridge.

A sample of a removable retainer with a plastic tooth known as a flipper

Flipper

A fragile, temporary and inexpensive solution is a removable plastic tooth with a plastic retainer, often called a “flipper”.

A depiction of a sturdy partial denture cast in metal and plastic

Metal Partial

A less fragile option is a removable partial denture cast in metal and plastic. It is held in place by wire clips. A removable partial denture can be removed and reinserted when required by the patient.

A representation of a full denture for the entire lower jaw

Denture

The most common solution, for people missing all teeth in one or both jaws are complete dentures. Some people adapt well to dentures. Others find them uncomfortable, even intolerable, because of differences in jaw size and shape.

A visual of a permanent dental implant to replace missing teeth

Dental Implants

Dental implants are the most comfortable and permanent solution. They form a strong foundation for teeth and keep the jaw healthy and strong. Implants support individual replacement teeth or secure specialized dentures in place. Unlike bridges, no healthy teeth are damaged. Unlike most bridges, implants can last a lifetime. Implant-supported replacement teeth can be attractive, stable, and comfortable for almost any patient.

Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?

There are several reasons: A dental bridge can sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge the space of the missing tooth/teeth. In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.

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