Dental Implants are Today’s Best Investment into your Health

Dental Implants are Today’s Best Investment into your Health

Dental implants are today’s best alternative when you have missing teeth.

Teeth implants can quickly and efficiently bring back that beautiful, bright & white smile and you will be able to laugh and eat just like you did when you had all of your teeth in place.

Moreover, yet another huge advantage of dental implants is that the self esteem of the patient is being restored. You will not feel anymore embarrassed of speaking in public, of laughing, or of talking to people.

The dental implants also offer protection for the gums and for the bones in your jaw. Unlike crowns and other kinds of dentures, the implants will never slip from the mouth while eating or speaking. Perhaps the best thing about the dental implants is that they look and feel 100% natural. Nobody will ever be able to tell that you actually have “prosthetic teeth”, that they are not natural.

The old style dentures are usually anchored to your teeth (or to what has remained of them!), while the dental implants are anchored to the natural bone in your jaw. They are fixated there extremely securely, and they will never move around, or give you the feeling that you have a strange material in your mouth.

The lifespan of the dental implants is anywhere between 20 and 30 years, and even more. This fact of course depends on many factors, such as the state of health of the patient, and whether he/she respects the daily dental cleaning regimen.

Implants should be treated just like natural teeth. Once they are in your mouth, it is important to brush and floss them regularly, exactly like you would do with your natural teeth. On the other hand, the lifespan of a traditional fixed bridge is only 10-15 years.

Current Topics in Dentistry

ImplantsWhen contemplating treatment with implants, what clinical and laboratory factors most significantly affect your choice of an implant system?

Author: Bernard T. Carr/David A. Dersh/Wayne R. Harrison/Richard P. Kinsel

This article was published in The International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants, Vol 16, No 1 (January/February 2001).

Bernard T. Carr, DDS, maintains a private practice in Alexandria, Virginia, emphasizing gnathological, aesthetic, and implant prosthetics. He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, an Active Member of the Academy of Osseointegration, and a board member of the Northern Virginia Implant Society.

When I draw up a treatment plan using endosseous implants, the following are the most important clinical and laboratory factors that influence my choice of an implant system. The initial need for different implant systems to be developed in implant dentistry arose from the loose screw syndrome with the original external hex design. The loosening of small gold cylinder screws, as well as the larger titanium screws used to secure gold cylinders and machined abutments to the implants, was a constant problem when the restoration lacked a passive-fitting prosthetic framework. This lack of a passive fit would cause microvibrations, which would loosen the screws. These vibrations were the result of built-in stress from the forced fitted framework returning to its original dimension. Obviously, there were far fewer problems with screws loosening in a passive-fitting prosthetic framework.

All of the original-design frameworks were screw-down implant prostheses. The need and desire to restore intact and stronger occlusal morphology with porcelain-fused-to-gold crowns led to the development of the custom-milled cast UCLA abutment for a cemented prosthesis. The advent of the 32 N/cm square drive gold screw, used to secure the custom abutment directly to the implant, as well as improved manufacturing tolerances, has practically eliminated the loose screw problem.

Therefore, designs of the other implant systems, although they may have higher and stronger engineering values, limit prosthetic versatility, both from a laboratory and clinical point of view, in restoring implants that are surgically or positionally compromised. The external hex system provides more versatility for the technician to solve problems with emergence profile and esthetics, since the technician is able to bring the porcelain of a porcelain-fused-to-gold crown closer to the implant interface.

If the use of screws was intended to prevent implant fracture in cases of excessive occlusal load, then the internal hex implant may be more prone to fracture because of its stronger design at the abutment/implant interface.

The MicroMiniplant, used to replace congenitally missing maxillary lateral incisors, has an internal hex interface. It is easier to engage the impression and/or final custom abutment in the internal hex design. However, if the implant platform level is not significantly subgingival, esthetic problems can arise at the abutment/implant interface. These are easier to correct with a custom UCLA abutment and the external hex design system.

Strong consideration should be given to a tapered root-form implant where the apical root forms of the natural roots adjacent to the implant site are too close to permit placement of a cylinder implant.

Personally, there seem to be no problems with the esthetics and longevity of the external hex design implant system, especially if the necessary density and volume of bone is available at the implant site. Clinically, I have had few problems with the external hex implant design and do not see the need for using another implant system.

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