By: Erin Coakley for Dental1
Although dental implants have been around since the 1950s, recent advancements have made them faster, less invasive, and more accurate than ever before. Dental implants provide new teeth to people who have lost one or more due to failed roots canals, periodontal disease, or decay. Within a year of losing a tooth, you also lose up to 60 percent of the bone surrounding it. But new techniques allow oral surgeons to locate optimal implantation sites in the jaw, so even people with severe bone loss can have successful implant surgery.
|Keep your teeth healthy by:|
Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
Eating nutritious and balanced meals and limiting snacks.
Drinking fluoridated water.
Getting professional cleanings and oral examinations regularly.
The new process uses a mini CT scan and computer imaging to create a three-dimensional image of the patient’s mouth. This image helps the dentist locate the best spot for the implant so as to avoid placement near other implants or near a nerve or sinus cavity. Oral surgeons no longer have to cut patients’ gums open to find proper implant sites, although this technique can still be used on patients with enough visible bone tissue left.
Once the dentist finds the best spot to place the implants, he screws titanium posts into the jaw and then attaches new teeth to them. New bone eventually begins to grow around these posts. Dental implants are 97 percent effective and allow people with severe tooth loss or ill fitting bridgework to enjoy foods they couldn’t before, go out to restaurants with friends, get rid of their dentures, and worry less about embarrassing facial disfigurements.