Dental Implant in Burlington, Ontario

In 1965, an orthopaedic surgeon by the name of Per-Ingvar Branemark in Sweden placed the world’s first intraosseous titanium dental implant.  In 1982, his research was officially presented to the scientific community of North America and the face of dentistry was forever changed.  

Dental Implant in Burlington, Ontario

What is an implant?

In the simplest sense, a dental implant is a root analog.  Put another way, it is a synthetic structure designed to replace the root of a tooth that has been lost either to trauma or to disease.  By this definition however, the dental implant has been around since ancient Egypt when sea shells were hammered into the jaw bone to support makeshift teeth...without novocaine!!  Fortunately, in the millennia since then, technology has allowed us to not only achieve the same objective in a more humane way, but just as importantly, in a more predictable way.

Dental Implant in Burlington

How do implants work?

The development of the dental implants began with the discovery that the body does not reject commercially pure titanium.  This means that if an implant were to be placed in bone, the bone would heal right up against the surface of the implant and rigidly locking it in place - a process known as osseointegration.  All of the subsequent advances in implantology have been geared towards enhancing and strengthening the attachment of the bone to the surface of the implant so as to make the entire complex as strong and secure as possible.  

While there are a great many different models of implants available today, they all have fairly similar design characteristics.  Most approximate the size and shape of roots as well as having threads, so as to facilitate the placement and initial stability of the implant.  At a microscopic level, the surfaces of implants are specially treated to make them rough enough for the bone to grow right up against it, engage the irregularities and lock it in place.

Once the bone surrounding the implant has matured, the top of the implant is exposed, and any number of prostheses can be screwed onto the implant.  From single crowns, virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth, to bridges to abutments for partial and complete dentures, just about any configuration is possible.



Are dental implants right for me?

There are a great many scientific and medical reasons that favour the use of implants.  The gradual loss of bone volume that occurs after the loss of a tooth (or teeth) is mitigated by the placement of implants. This process is an important consideration since the amount of bone present is directly related to the comfort of a denture.  Loose or unstable dentures is a problem that millions of people around the world contend with, most of whom have to settle for just tolerating the situation even if it means compromising the ability to chew food effectively.  

Another important consideration is the sacrifice of virgin tooth structure just to fill in a space.  A bridge is a perfectly acceptable way to fill in a space if the teeth on either side have large restorations or already require dental crowns.  But are dental bridges still the best choice if the teeth on either sides of the space have either no fillings or very small fillings?  Is it really in the patient’s best interest to pare down perfectly healthy teeth, just to fill in one space?  There is an increasing body of evidence suggesting that, barring significant health concerns, an implant(s) is by far a better treatment option.  


Finally, when trying to answer the implant question, it is important to also look to the future. Statistically, 87% of bridges will last 10 years before requiring replacement.  However, only 69% will reach 15 years.  When compared with 10-15 year survival rates of implants that are in the mid to high 90% range, the issue of replacement becomes a compelling factor in the decision-making process.  

Naturally, every person presents with a unique set of values and conditions, and every person is willing to live with varying degrees of compromise.  Ultimately, the decision of whether or not implants are right for you should be made with your dentist after having reviewed all of the risks, but more importantly, all of the benefits that come with the treatment. 

Dental Implant in Burlington, ON

Dental Implant in Burlington On

Dental Implant in Ontario

Dental Implant Burlington, Ontario