A dental implant (also known as an endosseous implant or fixture) is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis or to act as an orthodontic anchor. Most implants connect with other components in order to function. A common component is an abutment which can provide the connection to a dental prosthesis.
Modern dental implants can fuse with bone through a biologic process called osseointegration. Materials such as titanium, and some ceramics form this bone integration instead of causing a foreign body reaction as found with most other materials. Prior to the discovery of osseointegration, various non-titanium implants were placed in the jawbones (or the periosteum surrounding them) but had high complication rates due to foreign body reactions. In fact, implantable fixtures to replace teeth are not a new concept, with evidence of use at least 4000 years ago with ancient Chinese bamboo dental implants.
The prerequisites to long term success of osseointegrated dental implants, are healthy bone and gingiva. Pre-prosthetic procedures sometimes are required to recreate ideal bone and gingiva to enable implant placement (particularly after atrophy from previous tooth removal). In the presence of healthy tissues, a well integrated implant with appropriate biomechanical loads can have long term success rates of 93 to 98 percent for the fixture and 10 to 15 year lifespans for the prosthetic teeth.
We offer a variety of dental implant services for the highest quality dental care for our patients. We encourage you to learn more about what we provide and how we can help. If you have any questions, please contact us by calling (403) 640-4000. We're always happy to hear from you!