Dental implants are common implements used to replace adult teeth that have been lost through accidents, diseases, or decay issues. If you want a dental implant, then the device may be confusing to you. Since dental implants require a fairly invasive surgical procedure, a misunderstanding of the implant may cause you to shy away from scheduling the surgery. Failure concerns are common and often stem from the confusion surrounding the root device and how it bonds with the bone. You should know that dental implant roots are made in a way to make bone bonding, or osseointegration, as successful as possible. Specifically, the root has features that help it secure in place. Keep reading to learn about these features.
Threads And Grooves
Dental implants come in a wide variety of sizes depending on the type of tooth the device is meant to replace. The length of the device ranges from five to eleven millimeters, and the width is between three and six millimeters. Each dental implant will have a solid well, or core, and tapers will be created along the outside of the well. The tapers are angled a bit and have shallow grooves between each taper. The tapers look like a screw, and your oral surgeon will actually use the tapers to secure the implant into your jaw like a screw.
Before your dental implant operation is performed, the correct implant root is chosen and your surgeon will also choose a dental drill tip. The tip will be able to create a hole in your jaw that is just a tiny bit smaller than the diameter of the implant root. Once the hole is formed, the top edge of the sterile implant is secured into the head of a drill. The bottom of the implant root is placed in the jaw hole and the drill is activated to secure the root in place. The tapers of the implant root cut into the bone, and the implant secures itself, much like a screw in a piece of wood. This keeps the implant still and immobile so new bone can heal around the root.
Dental implant roots are made from a type of metal called titanium. Titanium is used to make spacecraft parts, jet engines, jewelry, and medical implements. Titanium is as strong as steel, but it is less dense. This means it weighs less than steel, which helps to increase its strength-to-weight ratio. This is ideal when medical implements are made, because lightweight implants place less stress on the body.
Titanium also is biocompatible, which means it can be placed in the body without being rejected. Specifically, the titanium does not cause injury or a toxic environment, and the body sees the metal as a piece of the body that does not need to be attacked by the immune system. Since titanium implants are fully accepted by the body, the cells in your jaw will react to the dental implant root much like they would to a tooth root or a piece of bone. As you heal, new bone cells fill in the spaces around the implant root so the device cannot move after the healing period is completed.
The implant root is far less likely to break away from the bone if bonding occurs. To make sure that bone cells can grow into the surface of the implant root to bond with the metal device, the surface of the implant is textured. Typically, the metal is acid etched or sandblasted after it is formed to create the texture.
Studies and assessments of dental implant roots show that textured surfaces integrate extremely well and lead to long-term implant success. Sandblasting and acid etching create the same types of microabrasions across the surface of the implant root. This means you can work with your dental professional to choose either sandblasted or acid-etched implants and experience the same level of success regardless of the roughening technique.
For more information, talk to a dentist like Richard L. Myers, DDS.