Although we don’t yet have flying cars or robot servants, 2018 still has plenty to offer in the technology department. Self-driving cars are already on the road, the speakers on our desk are getting smarter and smarter, and almost any hobbyist with enough cash can 3d print just about any design they can dream up.
In the world of dentistry, it’s not that different. Recently in China, a robot successfully performed dental implant surgery on a patient, and in the U.S., researchers are working on new nanoparticles that can make teeth too slippery for bacteria to attach itself to, possibly curing cavities for good. Though these treatments haven’t yet been approved fully, many advanced treatments are already being used to achieve goals such as replacing missing teeth.
A History of Tooth Replacement
For most of human existence, losing a tooth or multiple teeth could spell danger, which is why we’ve been coming up with interesting techniques to replace them for thousands of years. In fact, in 1931, an archeologist in Honduras found the mandible of a Mayan women which contained three tooth-shaped seashells inserted into her jaw bone. The skull was thought to be nearly 1400 years old!
Even in the last hundred years, our tooth replacement methods have left some to be desired. Although dentures and partial dentures have been significantly improved, they’re not the same as having all our natural teeth. They can be difficult to clean, can become dislodged when eating or speaking, and can sometimes be embarrassing.
Dental Implants and Cyborgs
Although Dental implants have been around for many years, they still stand as one of the most effective tooth replacement treatments out there. Bolstering a 98 percent success rate, the technology that makes them work is straight out of science fiction. Made up of two main components, the titanium implant and the crown, once the titanium has been inserted into the jaw bone, the magic happens. Known as the process of osseointegration, the titanium and jaw bone fuse together in a way similar to cyborgs from a 1970 sci-fi novel. After this process has taken place, the titanium implants will function in the same way as a natural tooth root. The next step is to attach a custom-designed crown crafted form medical-grade ceramic to the implant. When the procedure is complete, the implant is indistinguishable from other teeth.
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
Most adults are good candidates for dental implants. In general, if you are in good health, are a nonsmoker, and possess adequate bone mass at the implant site, dental implants can help improve your smile and set you up for success in the future.
The best way to determine whether you’re a candidate, however, is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.
Think you’re ready to try out dental implants in Valdosta, GA? Please call (229) 242-5511 or e-mail us online for an appointment with implant dentist Dr. Nelson Clements.