The beauty of dental implants is that they improve conventional replacement teeth’s feel and function; but is there a way to improve a dental implant’s performance? Scientists in Japan and China believe so, and their research suggests a special coating of calcium and phosphate can facilitate a stronger bond between your jawbone and the implant’s surface. Known as osseointegration, this bond is the foundation of dental implantology, and improving the process could vastly increase the success of implanted replacement teeth.
The Science of Dental Implantology
A dental implant is a titanium root device that’s inserted into the jawbone in place of a lost tooth. Titanium is biocompatible; as your jawbone heals, it accepts the implant as genuine, fusing to its surface (osseointegration) similar to the way it grasps your natural teeth roots. After 4-6 months, the typical healing time for dental implants, Dr. Fondriest can attach a dental crown or other appropriate prosthetic, depending on how many teeth you’ve lost. The benefits of dental implants are multi-faceted (including better support and improved long-term dental health) and mostly stem from the success of osseointegration.
Improving the Effectiveness of Osseointegration
Since their approval for clinical use 50 years ago, dental implants have enjoyed an over 90% success rate. Though rare, some patients’ jawbones may fail to bond to an implant’s surface, and experts believe that using bioactive materials to facilitate osseointegration can help improve the success rate of dental implant surgery. For instance, calcium phosphate (CaP) and collagen are building blocks of bone. In a study published in the journal, Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, Wei-Qi Yan and colleagues tested various forms of a CaP-induced gel by spreading it over tiny titanium rods that they implanted into several rabbits’ thighbones. The results showed significantly more bone growth in rabbits with CaP gel-infused titanium rods, as opposed to those without the gel-infused rods.
Your Jawbone After Tooth Loss
The relationship between your jawbone, your teeth’s roots, and dental implants is a tight-knit one. As far as your body is concerned, your jawbone’s main purpose is to hold your teeth steady and supply them with necessary nutrients through their roots. When you bite and chew, the stimulated roots tell your body how many teeth are present, and it responds by sending your jawbone an adequate supply of nutrient-rich blood. When a tooth is uprooted, your body registers its absence, and reassigns its minerals to other areas of the body. Dental implants are designed to replace lost teeth roots and their stimulation to curb the nutrient deficiency and jawbone deterioration that follows tooth loss. As prosthetic roots, they also offer unmatched stability and support for your dental crown, bridge, or denture, improving their resemblance to your natural teeth.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
If your jawbone has fully developed and you’ve lost one or more permanent teeth, then you’re likely a viable candidate for dental implants. Before the root devices can be surgically inserted, Dr. Fondriest will thoroughly inspect your oral health to ensure your mouth is free of gum disease and tooth decay. An untreated dental disease can compromise your oral tissues and the success of your dental implant placement. If your jawbone isn’t dense enough to support and bond to the implants, then you may require a jawbone graft to fortify it beforehand. To learn if dental implants are the right choice for replacing your lost teeth, then speak with Dr. Fondriest as soon as possible for a comprehensive examination.
About Lake Forest Dental Arts:
Aside from providing expert general and cosmetic dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds highly-respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule your consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.