Dental implants have traditionally been a way for people to replace teeth they have lost due to decay or trauma. With the standard dental implant, a post made of titanium is surgically implanted in a dental patient's jawbone. An abutment is attached to this post which will support an artificial tooth made of porcelain, also known as a “crown.” This type of implant serves as an alternative to partial and full dentures as well as to bridges.
The Problems with Dental Implants
While standard dental implants are effective in for replacing missing teeth, they come with a big drawback in that patients may undergo a lot of suffering during the process of having them installed. For example, patients with missing teeth who have worn dentures for a considerable length of time may have bone loss as a result. There may not be enough bone left for the titanium post to be inserted. The standard procedure in such instances is to graft bone from some place on the patient’s body as a means of supporting the tooth. Typically the bone will be taken from the jaw or hip, though sometimes it is taken from the skull; in either case, the supply of bone will be limited. This method also involves more surgery, which means more pain for the patient and a longer period wherein they will not be able to work.
The Advantages of Fabricated Bone Implants
Instead of taking bone from the patient’s body, surgeons from Griffith University have come up with a means of using fabricated bone to support dental implants. Fabricated bone has a number of benefits when it comes to improving the patient’s experience:
- The supply is not as limited as it is when using bone from the patient’s body.
- There is less surgery involved.
- Fabricated bone is less expensive for the patient than using bone grafts.
- Reduced potential for complications due to surgery.
Fabricated bone technology for use with dental implants is currently undergoing clinical trials. It is expected that it will be available within two or three years.
About the Author
Dr. Steffany Mohan is the Owner of Plaza Dental Group and is a leading dentist in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Mohan is an expert in implant, pediatric, gum disease and cosmetic dentistry, is Invisalign certified and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dentistry community. Google+