Did you know that the first initial attempts with dental implant dated back in the Mayan civilization during 600 A.D.? Archeologists have recovered ancient skulls in which teeth were replaced by materials ranging from carved stones, such as jade, to fragments of sea shells. Despite primitive methods and materials, some of these early implants actually fused to the jawbone.
Why Dental Implants?
A Dental Implant is a viable option to replace a missing tooth (or several missing teeth) with the benefits of not having to ‘sacrifice’ the adjacent teeth to build a dental bridge. The advantage of replacing the tooth roots with a dental implant is that as much jaw bone as possible is retained. Most importantly, dental implants restore function and aesthetics to your daily activities.
Dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from your other real teeth and are typically placed in a single sitting. For those with not enough jaw bones, bone grafting is usually required to prepare the jaw bone to accept dental implants. However, it requires a period of time for the implant to be fused together with your jaw bones, a process called osseointegration. The period required can take anywhere between 3 to 6 months, after which your dentist will complete the procedure by placing a crown restoration.
Discomfort is minimal after a dental implant procedure. Patients can proceed to have their meals as per normal although it is recommended to avoid foods that are too hot or too hard for the initial few days.
Maintaining diligent oral hygiene is essential to ensure proper fusing of the implant and bone structure. Dental implants work just like your real teeth and require the same maintenance as your natural teeth – flossing, brushing and regular dental check-ups. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor the dental implants, teeth and gums to make sure that everything is in good condition.