When you need to replace a tooth from your smile, make sure you are making a wise choice. Dental implants are a true investment in the life of your smile.
A Tooth Replacement Option as Old as Time
Your body is meant to have a full mouth of teeth. When you lose a tooth, your body will make every effort to accept a replacement that is offered. This desire to have a full arch of teeth is shown in the discovery of ancient remains from the Mayan people. The Mayan civilization was an amazingly advanced culture. They had roads, irrigation systems, and vast cities that spanned for miles. They also had dental care.
A recent discovery of ancient Mayan remains shows evidence of attempts to replace lost teeth with other materials. Essentially, the Mayans were one of the first known civilizations to attempt dental implants. When a Mayan would lose a permanent tooth, the healers would place replacement teeth into the empty sockets. The materials they used ranged from seashells to hardened minerals. These materials were not efficient, but there was something especially interesting going on. The primitive implants showed evidence of the body trying to assimilate the foreign material into their dental structure. The body was doing what it could to make the seashells and minerals stable so they could act like real teeth.
Sometimes It’s Better to Be Lucky
Dental implants owe their amazing level of effectiveness not to research aimed at finding a tooth replacement option, or even an unforeseen benefit of some other type of dental study. Dental implants owe their effectiveness to a scientific accident. In 1952, an orthopedic surgeon named Dr. P. Brånemark was studying blood flow in the bones of rabbits. To conduct this research, he placed titanium cylinders into the femur bones of the rabbits. When he went to remove the cylinders, however, he found that they had fused with the bone. The bond was so complete that in order to remove the cylinders, the bone had to break. When that break occurred, it wasn’t between the cylinder and bone, but rather between bone and bone. The bone had accepted the titanium and made it a part of the natural bone structure. This process is called osseointegration, and is central to why dental implants are able to do such a superb job as a tooth replacement option.
Benefits of Modern Dental Implants
Dental implants have many wonderful qualities and provide a world of benefits to you and your smile. Here are the three main ways they are able to benefit you as your tooth replacement option.
- Stability – Osseointegration literally means to become part of the bone. This means that dental implants are able to do something that even your natural teeth were unable to do. You real teeth fit snuggly into their sockets, but they are held in by gums and other supporting material. Take that stuff away, and you can wiggle a healthy tooth free from your mouth. With dental implants, the implant root integrates and becomes an extension of your jawbone.
- Bone Health – Your mouth is set up a certain way for a reason. Your teeth roots perfectly fill the spaces in your jawline. When you lose a tooth, it opens up one of those spots. If you lose all of your teeth, that will open them all up. Any open spot in your mouth also opens the door to bone deterioration. Dental implants can help prevent that type of bone loss from happening. If you don’t protect your mouth from bone loss, you smile will end up paying the price.
- Longevity – Dentures and dental bridges will last you anywhere from five to fifteen years. That is a decent amount of time, but it still does not come close to the amount of time your new dental implants will last you. Dr. P. Brånemark placed his first pair of dental implants into a patient in 1965. Those were his first iteration of the titanium dental implant. They took six months to heal and integrate with the dental structure, and from there, they lasted that patient for 40 years! That person had his dental implants, the first ones ever designed, last more than twice as long as any other modern tooth replacement option available. So, if the first ones were able to do that, imagine what the ones we make today can do.
Are you ready to invest in your smile? Call Dr. Anderkvist’s Los Angeles, CA office today at 310-208-4084 to schedule your appointment.