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All I Want for Christmas Is Titanium

Posted in Dental Implants | December 15, 2021

smiling woman in evening dress with glass of sparkling wine over night lightsOK, that sounds like some sort of science fiction novel title, but it’s not.

Titanium is one of Dr. Egger’s best friends because it is the base, literally, of dental implants. And dental implants are the rock stars of the dental universe. They are the best option for replacing a missing tooth or for anchoring partial dentures to replace a series of missing teeth.

Since we haven’t talked about dental implants in a while here at our blog, let’s devote this last month in a COVID-forgettable year to these mighty dental prosthetics.

Dental implants 101

For many people who don’t read Dentistry Today, they think dental implants are a new thing. They may have only heard about them in the past five years or so. But dental implants have been used for tooth restoration for over 50 years. They’ve actually been around longer than that, just not the modern types made of titanium.

Archeological digs have unearthed implanted seashells and ivory in the jawbone of ancient Mayans and Egyptians. We assume they weren’t conch shells!

The modern dental implant can be traced back to 1952. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was studying bone healing and regeneration. He inserted a titanium screw into a rabbit tibia to mend a break but found that when he tried to remove the screw later the bone had fully grown around it and it couldn’t be removed. A decade of research followed, and the modern dental implant debuted in 1965.

Dr. Egger believes dental implants are far and away the best solution to replace a missing tooth, whether it is a tooth that is already gone, or a tooth that is so badly damaged or decayed that it requires extraction.

Some people don’t think you need to replace a missing tooth or two. Bad idea. If you don’t replace a missing tooth the adjacent teeth tend to spread out to fill the gap. This creates problems with your overall bite and tooth alignment.

Fun facts with dental implants

Since we’re into this kind of stuff at Dr. Egger’s. Let’s hit you with a pop quiz on missing teeth and dental implants. How many of these facts do you know?

  • An estimated 69% of Americans aged 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
  • 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
  • Dental implants are basically a titanium screw that is set into the hole in the jawbone where the natural tooth root was anchored. The jawbone then grows around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
  • Once in place, implants function like a natural tooth, transferring the energy from biting and chewing down into the jawbone beneath the artificial tooth. This stimulation is responsible for the jawbone continually renewing itself, a process that prevents bone loss.
  • Implants can also be used to anchor partial or complete dentures.
  • Implants now have a 98% success rate.

So, how’d you do? Well, it’s not really your business to know about dental implants, is it? But Dr. Egger and our team know all about these amazing dental prosthetics. If you’re missing a tooth or two, let’s talk about possibly placing dental implants in your jaw. Call us at (989) 773-3560 to schedule an appointment.


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