The Ultimate Guide to Dental Implants: Introduction and Basics of Dental Implants

Guide to Dental Implants

Introduction

Welcome to the first installment of our blog series, “The Ultimate Guide to Dental Implants,” brought to you by New Smiles, your go-to dental office in Oregon. In this series, we will break down everything you need to know about dental implants—from the basics to the intricate details—ensuring you’re well-informed about your dental health options. 

Dental implants have revolutionized the way we approach tooth replacement. Imagine once again having the confidence to smile without worrying about missing teeth. But what exactly are dental implants, and why are they so important?

Statistics on the Prevalence of Dental Implants

In recent years, dental implants have become a popular solution for those looking to replace missing teeth. According to a 2023 survey by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, over 3 million people in the United States have dental implants, with the number growing by 500,000 each year. This staggering growth is a testament to the success and longevity of dental implants as a preferred option for tooth replacement.

What Are Dental Implants?

Definition of Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, typically titanium, that provide a sturdy foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. These implants are designed to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, offering both aesthetic appeal and functional support.

Historical Background and Development of Dental Implant Technology

The concept of dental implants dates back thousands of years, with evidence showing that early civilizations used materials like shells and stones as rudimentary tooth replacements. However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that modern dental implants started to take shape. Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, discovered that titanium could bond with bone tissue—a process known as osseointegration. This groundbreaking discovery led to the development of the first successful modern dental implants in the 1960s, transforming dental care forever.

The Components of a Dental Implant

A dental implant typically consists of three main components:

  1. Implant: The titanium post that is surgically placed into the jawbone, acting as an artificial tooth root.
  2. Abutment: A connector placed on top of the implant, holding the replacement tooth (crown) in place.
  3. Crown: The visible part on top of the abutment and implant, custom-made to blend in with your natural teeth.

Guided vs. Free-hand Placement of Implants

Precision is crucial when placing dental implants. There are two primary methods: guided and free-hand placement.

  • Guided Surgery: This method uses advanced imaging techniques and computer-generated guides that are 3-D printed to plan and execute the implant placement precisely. Guided surgery is often preferred because it minimizes risks, reduces surgery time, and ensures optimal implant positioning.
  • Free-hand Surgery: In this traditional method, the dentist relies on experience and tactile feedback to place the implant. While this approach can be effective, it may not offer the same level of precision as guided surgery.

Importance of Guided Surgery

New Smiles doctors are leaders in the field of guided implant surgery. At New Smiles, we prioritize patient safety and the success of each procedure. Guided surgery lets us meticulously plan the implant placement, ensuring a more predictable and successful outcome. Using CBCT scans and digital technology, we create a customized surgical guide that provides accuracy and reduces surgical errors, failure rates, and recovery times. 

Stay tuned for our next blog post, in which we will discuss the various types of dental implants available, their unique benefits, and what makes them an ideal choice for many patients.

At New Smiles in Oregon, we’re dedicated to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams. Please get in touch with us if you’re considering dental implants or have any questions. Schedule your complimentary consultation today, and let us guide you through your dental implant journey!

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