Ever wonder why dental implants are more popular and effective than other tooth restoration methods? All of the credit goes to a process known as osseointegration. Dental implants are among the most popular tooth restoration procedures with a success rate of over 95%. This procedure includes the placement of a metal post, typically made of titanium, in place of the missing tooth. Since titanium is a biocompatible material, it bonds with the jawbone to form a more solid structure.
The History of Osseointegration
Osseointegration is an important part of the dental implant process. This phenomenon was accidentally discovered in 1952 by researcher Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Brånemark was using titanium implants for a study being conducted on rabbits. When the study was completed he wanted to retrieve the titanium chambers since they were expensive, so he could reuse them. However, he found that the jawbone had grown into the threads and crevices of the titanium surface and had become an important part of the bone structure.
Brånemark was so irritated by the fact that he wasn’t able to salvage these instruments 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. Dental implants were finally proven to work after years of continued scientific research and clinical testing with a high success rate. Eventually, implants became a popular treatment for missing teeth.
Science of Osseointegration
Bone repair is something frequently seen in medicine. A lot of people have their shoulders, hips, knees, and other bones repaired with plates and screws. This process is only available to us 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, that are surgically placed for repair. 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 create connections with it.
How Does Osseointegration Work?
The word osseointegration is derived from the Greek word “osteon,” which means “bone” and the Latin word “integrare,” which means “to make whole.”
Dental implants are artificial fixtures in the jaw that act as a replacement for tooth roots. The main aim of osseointegration is to achieve close contact with the surrounding jawbone. After the healing period, implants get anchored and stable due to osseointegration. During this process, the cells of the jawbone grow up to the surface of the implant to grip it securely. 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. Temporary teeth may be fitted during the osseointegration process. Once implants are fully integrated, permanent replacement teeth are secured on top of the implant posts.
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 (920) 278-7678 for more information.