More and more people have opted for dental implants in St. Johns Wood as a safe and effective way for not only replacing a missing tooth but also maintaining longer-lasting oral health. But does it end there? Is this as far as technology can go when it comes to securing new teeth in the mouth? Certainly, the procedure is effective with a high rate of success over many years but what comes next? Dentistry is an ever-evolving industry with new techniques and practices regularly being approved by governing bodies as safe and effective but one needs to understand the history of this procedure in order to be able to understand its future.
The history of dental implants
Mankind has always placed a significantly high value on the need for a full set of teeth, not only for functional reasons but for aesthetic ones too, this history goes back to ancient times where archeological and documented evidence of crude implants has been discovered in China where bamboo was used in place of a missing tooth and later in Egypt where the first metal (copper) implants were discovered having been hammered into the jawbone.
More recently however, after failed experiments in the 1800s with gold and metal alloys yielded poor results due to the body rejecting all foreign objects implanted into the bone, the 1960s finally saw the success of the first titanium implant leading to many more successes as the procedure and techniques improved.
The future of dental implants
Presently, the trend-setting titanium screw technique is the most successful of its kind when it comes to replacing natural teeth; it has a 97% success rate and can be used on all individuals provided they have enough bone to stabilize the implant. Furthermore, the coatings which are being developed that cover the screw have promising implications for those suffering from bone loss as in the case with patients of osteoporosis. Progressive research conducted at the Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, has seen the development of a coating which when implanted dissolves into compounds releasing silicone to help the bone build and repair itself.
The challenge now faced by researchers is how to make the procedure faster and the waiting period between extracting the tooth and implanting the screw in St. John’s Wood shorter; they call this new priority a ‘shorter time-to-teeth.’ Prof. Christoph Hämmerle of the University of Zurich’s Clinic of Reconstructive Dentistry, states that within the next 10 years that immediate implant treatment after tooth extraction may occur 67% more frequently than in the past, allowing the time from the loss of a tooth to replacing it with a crown much shorter than the current waiting period.
Hämmerle also predicts that while patient demand for implants will increase, likewise the use of pre-surgery digital scanning technology in favor of probing will become more prevalent, allowing for a more accurate procedure particularly in complicated cases.
What does this all mean for patients?
With ever-evolving technologies such as these, more dentists are undertaking implantation as common practice in their surgeries and with new advancements being developed, everyone from all walks of life will be able to have this procedure as an option for tooth replacement, creating more confidence in each individual as custom implants are fitted.