All you need to know about dental implants
Implantology has a broad background in the history of medicine. Human kind has been implanting external materials inside the human body to aid the healing of flesh and bones for thousands of years and all over the world. As the British Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining quotes, in Neolithic, Ancient Egypt or Middle Ages, the materials used could be animal tendons, thorns or even the jaws of black ants in South America. Remains of successful biomaterials like mother-of-pearl, completely absorbed by the body and used like dental implants by the Mayans, have also been found hundreds of years later.
According to the non-profit researcher International Congress of Oral Implantology, a dental implant is a “replacement for the root or roots of a tooth. Like tooth roots, dental implants are secured in the jawbone and are not visible once surgically placed. They are used to secure crowns (the parts of teeth seen in the mouth), bridgework or dentures by a variety of means. They are mostly made of titanium, which is lightweight, strong and biocompatible, which means that it is not rejected by the body”.
Nowadays, dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device. That is why they are one of the most reliable solutions when losing a tooth or even the whole denture.
The American Academy of Dental Implantology states three characteristics that reveal dental implants’ advantages over other solutions: “The quality of life they offer, cost effectiveness and long term health associated with dental implants”.
First of all, this solution is the most “natural looking replacement”, as profes-sionals are able to create pieces completely adapted to every person’s mouth and physical appearance. Furthermore, dental implants “don’t slip while we talk, laugh or eat, since they are anchored to the jawbone”. Regarding the cost, dental implants may look an expensive option at first sight, but its long lasting nature makes them a cheaper option in the long term. Finally, and most important than aesthetics, it’s the “oral health-related quality they offer”, since they “stimulate healthy bone maintenance and behave like natural teeth”.
The success of this solution has also a spectacular impact in economic data. According to the market researcher Key-Stone, currently in Spain, the fourth economy in dental industry in Europe (ahead even of the United Kingdom), the size of the whole market of dentistry exceeds 660 millions of euros, and Implantology is the area which achieve the highest market share -31,7%, as the Spanish Federation of Healthcare Technology Companies (FENIN) affirms. And it’s a market that continues growing. For example in 2007, 57% of Spanish clinics offered dental implants treatments, while in 2012 this percentage reached 82%, according to Key-Stone.
Eventually, patients and clinics are more conscious about the benefits of dental implants over other treatments. In particular, the American Academy of Dental Implantology lists other reasons why dental implants are “often the first choice and a gold standard care compared to other options to restore missing teeth”:
They are strong and stable, and function like natural teeth.
While teeth-supported dental bridges last until 10 years if cared properly, dental implants may last a lifetime.
They also allow speaking easily, as they function as natural teeth.
Dental implants permit biting naturally and eating anything you want without worrying about embarrassing situations.
Cavities can’t occur with implant-restored crowns.
lhey don’t move, as they are fixed and fused naturally with the jawbone.
They also protect your healthy teeth, as they help prevent adjacent teeth from moving as they would if there was an empty space for a long time.
They are more predictable that other restoration methods.
However, we must never forget consulting the specialists before making this decision. A professional team must analyse your case and inform you about being an ideal candidate for this treatment. Many factors may affect this decision, specially related to the health of the patient. Diabetes, cancer or gum disease will affect dental implants, and a study of the anatomy of your mouth and bite movements must be done previously. For further information, you can consult specialised clinics in implantology like Artedental, in Puerto de la Cruz, with demonstrated expertise and over 4.000 implants placed by its team.
You can also visit its website for more information: http://www.artedentalclinic.com/en/