A dental implant is a “root” device, typically made of titanium, used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth. Most all dental implants placed today are similar to an actual tooth root, and are placed within the bone. Dental implants will fuse with bone; however, they lack the periodontal ligament, so they will feel slightly different from natural teeth during chewing.
Types of Implants
There have been many different types of implants over the years, including:
- Root-form endosseous implants – implants used today that appear similar to an actual tooth root and are placed within the bone
- Blade endosseous implants – these implants came before the root-form endosseous implants, in that the shape of the metal piece placed within the bone resembled a flat blade
- Subperiosteal implants – also prior to root-form implants, in which a framework was constructed to lie upon and was attached with screws to the exposed bone of the jaws
How Else Can Dental Implants Be Used?
Dental implants can be used in a number of ways, including:
- As support for crowns
- As support for implant-supported bridges
- As support for dentures
- As anchorage for orthodontic tooth movement
The use of dental implants permits unidirectional tooth movement without reciprocal action. Like many modern medical and dental technologies, Dental Implants have been dramatically improved over the last few decades. From the actual physical design, to the surface, these devices are more predictable than ever.