Some might not realize it, but dental implants have been around, in one form or the other, for a long time. Nowadays, though, you are more likely to sport a beautiful porcelain implant rather than a peg of wood like they used in centuries past. Research in new ways to give those with missing teeth a reason to smile again continues, so read on to find out what your dentist has been up to when it comes to dental implants.
Acid: The Enemy
Your teeth are at war all the time. In some cases, your mouth's natural saliva is enough to keep your mouth clean and healthy. However, acids in foods and drinks can still wreak havoc with your teeth. Acid, if not removed quickly enough, turns into bacteria in your mouth and that is what makes teeth decay and gets gums infected. It weakens the enamel and makes it more vulnerable to breaking and other problems. What does that have to do with implants? It turns out that dental implants are vulnerable to acids just like natural teeth are. That is why you can now get implants that come coated with a substance that repels acid and makes your implants and natural teeth last a long, long time.
When an implant post is inserted, it is goes into the jawbone directly under the missing tooth area. However, some people have weak jawbones and must have an additional surgery to shore up that area and get it ready for an implant. This outpatient procedure is safe and effective, but patients who must have bone grafts may need to add an additional several months onto the entire procedure to give the grafted area time to heal and become stable.
Computer simulation techniques could put an end to that extra surgery for some patients, though. Using new imaging technology, precise models of the patient's jawbone allow for the creation of an implant model that can be replicated as a cap that is custom designed to fit into the jaw given the bone density in that area. This technique also means that those who are borderline qualified to have an implant because of their bones, could qualify because less jawbone loss occurs due to the precise measurements.
Dental implant research is expected to continuously move in a more technologically advanced manner to solve more problems and get more people satisfied with their smiles. Speak to a dentist to learn more about cosmetic dentistry.