Dental Implants and Osseointegration
Here at Crafton Dental in Columbia, MD our goal is to help all of our patients to understand all of their options for replacing teeth. We offer dentures to those who are looking for a fast and easy tooth replacement solution, as well as dental implants for those who desire something long-lasting and permanent. One of the biggest advantages that dental implants give our patients is the ability to eat and speak as they did before tooth loss set in. How is it that dental implants can replace teeth in both form and function? Osseointegration is the key to the success of dental implants.
Dental Implants Fuse to Bone Through OsseointegrationOsseointegration describes the healing process of bones around a foreign material in the human body. When your body accepts a foreign material instead of rejecting it and chooses to grow around the new material, forming a strong bond with it, similar to the effect of bones repairing themselves when a limb is placed in a cast. In the case of dental implants, the foreign material we use is the titanium implant post, which we surgically inserted into the bone of your jaw. Once the titanium post is placed into your jaw, we allow them some time to heal, because bones heal at a much slower rate than soft tissues.
Titanium Dental Implants and OsseointegrationIt’s not easy to find a material that will be readily accepted by the human body. Our bodies are made to reject most things that enter it with the help of the immune system. Let’s say you get a splinter from a piece of wood, after a day or two you will notice your immune system start to react to the splinter with redness, swelling, probably even some pus. Your body notices the splinter and takes these actions to try and eject the splinter from the body or break it down. However, some materials are biocompatible, meaning the body doesn’t see them as a threat and won’t try to reject them. This is the case with titanium. Instead of being rejected, titanium implant posts are welcomed into the body, and the bones will mend around them creating a strong bond that you will be able to use to help you chew your food.
Zirconia Dental Implants and OsseointegrationTitanium works great for dental implants because it is a biocompatible material. Interestingly, Zirconia is also biocompatible and can be used as the implant post in certain cases. Why would you want a Zirconia dental implant post over a titanium implant post? In certain cases where the implant posts might show through the gum tissue, titanium presents an issue because of it’s metallic color. Zirconia implant posts are white, and therefore look much more aesthetically pleasing. This is a fairly rare concern, but it is an issue that we can easily fix by altering the implant post material.
Healing From Dental Implant Surgery Through OsseointegrationOnce you leave our office, the success of your dental implants rests in your hands. We are always here to help our patients with any issues that arise, but it is up to them to let us know if something doesn’t feel right. Make sure to follow your post-operation instructions, and always keep your mouth clean following oral surgery.