For the past two and a half years I have been working as a Periodontal Assistant accommodating two doctors. Combined, both doctors have over thirty years experience within the field of Periodontics. The field of Periodontics focuses predominately on the prevention, treatment, and maintenance of periodontal disease. Treatment of periodontal disease, commonly is managed by; the removal of excessive tissue, bone and tissue grafts, and extraction of problem teeth.
However, at our practice, we not only manage periodontal disease, but replace missing teeth with dental implants. Dental implants are an alternative to other restoratives like bridges and dentures. On an ideal day, we place about five to ten implants; and the overall success rate is ninety percent.
If you are in good shape “health-wise,” have decent oral hygiene habits, and can financially afford dental implants; they are a worthwhile investment. Dental implants are a worthy investment compared to other dental restorations because they are; durable, esthetically appealing, and preserve bone in addition to surrounding teeth.
First of all, dental implants are composed of titanium alloy. Titanium, “is commonly used in alloys, as a result the alloy is stronger and more resistant to rust” (Titanium). Due to these durable contributions; titanium alloys are used as frames and engines for aircraft and spacecraft, armored vehicles, and also serve as artificial hip and knee replacements (Titanium). The chemical and biological composition of an implant provide the basics for optimum durability.
Durability is not the only factor, in order to achieve long-lasting results with an implant, stability, also needs to be taken into consideration. The healing process allows for the highest amount of stability to be achieved. After placing an implant, the implant is allowed to heal for a period of three to six months. The healing time for the implant is crucial because the implant “fuses with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration” (Dental Implants). The surface of the implant itself is vital in the osseointegration process. As a result, several “trial and error” tests have been conducted over the past several decades in determining the most ideal surface. According to a studies review by; Gupta, Dhanraj, and Sivagami, a “sandblasted and acid etched” surface produces the best results when integrating. Sandblasting is a method that produces a “rough” texture on the implant's surface; while acid etching “leads to micro-texturizing and cleaning” (Gupta, Dhanraj, and Sivagami).
Now that we know how implants achieve durability and stability, let's compare to materials mainly used in bridges. Bridges are commonly comprised of the following; porcelain fused to metal, gold alloys, or base metal alloys. Porcelain fused to metal is often most people's choice when it comes to bridges because, its a financially conservative cosmetic material. According to an ADA table...