Titanium is Your Friend — Implants 101

For many people, there is the impression that dental implants are a relatively new advancement in dentistry. Not so. Implants have been used for tooth restoration for over 50 years. They’ve actually been around longer than that, just not the modern types made of titanium.

Archeological digs have unearthed implanted seashells and ivory in the jawbone of ancient Mayans and Egyptians. Even for our most ardent Cape Cod patients, at EMA we won’t do seashell implants!

The modern dental implant can be traced back to 1952. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was studying bone healing and regeneration. He inserted a titanium screw into a rabbit tibia to mend a break, but found that when he tried to remove the screw later the bone had fully grown around it and it couldn’t be removed. A decade of research followed and the modern dental implant debuted in 1965.

At EMA, we believe dental implants are far and away the best solution to replace a missing tooth, whether it is a tooth that is already gone, or a tooth that is so badly damaged or decayed that it requires extraction.

Some people don’t think you need to replace a missing tooth or two. Bad idea. If you don’t replace a missing tooth the adjacent teeth tend to spread out to fill the gap. This creates problems with your overall bite and tooth alignment.

Fun facts with dental implants

dental implantsSince we’re kind of dental geeks at EMA, we’re into this kind of stuff. Let’s see what you know about some implant facts, shall we?

  • An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
  • 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
  • Dental implants are basically a titanium screw that is set into the hole in the jawbone where the natural tooth root was anchored. The jawbone then grows around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
  • Once in place, implants function like a natural tooth, transferring the energy from biting and chewing down into the jawbone beneath the artificial tooth. This stimulation is responsible for the jawbone continually renewing itself, a process that prevents bone loss.
  • Implants can also be used to anchor partial or complete dentures.
  • Implants now have a 98% success rate.

So, how’d you do? Well, it’s not really your business to know about dental implants, is it? Know that the staff at EMA Dental is well versed in this excellent tooth replacement option. Call our Longmeadow or Northampton offices and let’s discuss implants.

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