by Dr. O. Karnakova
An implant bridge may be a good option to replace multiple missing teeth, and are far superior to removable partials or multiple tooth supported bridges. An implant bridge is very similar to a normal bridge, in which there are abutments and a pontic. They also offer many advantages such as stopping bone resorption, preserving adjacent teeth, and act and feel like natural teeth. Implant bridges also require hygiene similar to that of a normal bridge, and have a much greater long term prognosis when compared to multiple tooth bridges.
In the past, implants were bridged to natural teeth and are now not recommended. Research has shown bridging an implant to a natural tooth can cause many complications and decrease its prognosis. Natural teeth are connected to the bone via ligaments while implants are integrated directly into the bone. The ligaments on natural act as a cushion and provide slight mobility. The difference in resilience between the natural tooth and implant can cause fractures of the tooth, failure of the bridge, and mobility of the implant. It is highly recommended to instead place multiple implants with single crowns.
Generally, there are two types of abutments for implants. Stock (pre-fabricated) abutments are manufactured by the company, but may not fit properly to the contour of the gums. Custom abutments are made by the dental laboratory. An impression is taken of the implant and surrounding gums. A custom abutment will offer a perfect fit of the crown and will better resemble a natural tooth.
History and Benefits of Dental Implants
by Dr. Howard Kopel
The first evidence of dental implants is attributed to the Mayan population roughly around 600 AD where they excelled in utilizing pieces of shells as implants as a replacement for mandibular teeth. The first post-type endosseous implant is attributed to Formiggini (“Father of Modern Implantology”) in the 1940’s. In the ensuing decades many different materials and techniques were employed to find a predictable implant system for replacing missing teeth. In 1978, Dr. P. Brånemark presented a two-stage threaded titanium root-form implant that modern implants are based on. Finally, today our implants have special coatings that promote osseointegration with the bone they are placed in and have become a very predictable modality.
Today it is no longer necessary to have removable partial dentures and full dentures as our parents and grandparents needed after having extractions. Gone are the days that embarrassing and uncomfortable loose dentures must be endured. Drilling down perfectly good teeth to place fixed bridgework is an outdated procedure now that implants are readily available.
Here are many reasons dental implants are often the first choice and a standard of care compared to other options to restore missing or damaged teeth.
By Dr. H. Kopel
Thousands of years ago teeth were replaced with bamboo, copper and iron implants. Even animal teeth and tooth shaped sea shells have been attempted as implants. Of course none of these ancient solutions were successful. In the 1800’s gold was tried too, but never successfully as the body would always reject these foreign substances.
In the mid 1900’s titanium was discovered to possess the properties that allowed the bone to fuse to it allowing Dr. Branemark to successfully place the first modern dental implant in 1965. Over the last few decades much research has been done regarding dental implants. Experimentation in shape and surface coating for the modern titanium implant has resulted in our current implants which are very predictable and well integrated into the jaw bones.
Implants are now considered the standard of care for replacing missing or badly damaged teeth. In the past when tooth extraction was necessary removable appliances or drilling down perfectly good teeth to make fixed bridges would be required for tooth replacement. Today’s implants allow us to provide strong, long lasting solutions to replace missing teeth for our patients.