Sun City West, AZ
Osseointegration is a medical term that refers to the taking in of the bone. Osseo is a term that means bone, and integrate is to take in, or make as one. This is a natural healing ability in which the bone creates connections to a device, making the two pieces into one. This natural reaction has allowed surgeons to use metal to repair bone all over the skeletal frame, and in dentistry, we use it to restore tooth roots. By surgically implanting a metal rod into the jawbone, our team at Frank W. Sallustio DDS, MS, FACP can recreate a lost root, allowing us to support a dental crown and make a direct connection to the bone. This means that we can do more than replace a missing tooth, we can recreate it.
How Does Osseointegration Work?
Humans have attempted to use objects to repair bone for many centuries. Archeologists have found grave sites that skeletal repair was done using a variety of objects such as shell, rock, wood, and metal. What fascinated them was more than the people’s attempt, but also the fact that there was evidence that the bone grew around the item. Our bone is willing to grow and therefore take in a foreign object. What humans didn’t know back then is how to handle infection and rejection. The materials and surgical procedures they used were not ideal for our physiology.
Around the early 20th century, scientists began studies centered around osseointegration using metal. Advancements were made in understanding biocompatibility as we better understood the human body. Doctors have used a variety of metal including iron, stainless steel, tantalum, cobalt, chromium, and titanium. In the 1960’s great advancements in the understanding and use of dental implants were made. It was found that titanium was strong, biocompatible, and lightweight enough not to be burdensome to our jaw. Today, we use both titanium and zirconium ceramic dental implants, and with our natural ability to osseointegrate, we can restore missing tooth roots.
Since the 1960’s, dentists have been increasingly placing dental implants using a titanium rod and more recently have introduced implants that are made of zirconium ceramic. With long-term results, the information is clear, having a root restored using a dental implant takes your natural ability to heal, and allows us to rebuild the base structure of a missing tooth. Studies have shown that this procedure is successful in more than 90% of patients and success continues for the long term. This statistic makes dental implants the most successful of any dental restoration.
Placing a dental implant is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. We create the space in the bone and place the implant. The real success in this process is the healing, also known as osseointegration. As the bone heals, it will heal around the implant fusing the two together creating a firm hold on the implant. Once the bone has healed around the implant, we can then use that foundation to rebuild the tooth. Dental implants can be used to support dental crowns, bridges, partial dentures and even full dentures.
We are happy to discuss the wide variety of options that come with dental implants. We can place one, two or many implants depending on the number of teeth that need to be replaced. Implants also come in various widths and lengths depending on the patient and the work being done, from mini implants to longer implants designed to be sunk in thicker bone, we have the right implant for you.