The very first patient treated with dental implants was in 1965. He was 35 years old at the time and already wearing full dentures. He was interviewed at a major dental conference in Las Vegas in 2005 and he was asked something along the lines of: ‘why did you agree to be a Guiea pig, get something done to your body that had never been tried before?’ His answer was that he felt like an invalid, as though he had a disability, he said ‘if you were missing your arm and there was a breakthrough that could give you your arm back, would you not do anything to try it?’ His other motive was that he wanted to die with his teeth. He certainly achieved that goal. He passed away in 2007, with his dental-implant-supported fixed teeth. Sure, they were not the every same prostheses that were fitted back in 1965, there were numerous versions since that time, but most of the implants that supported the prosthesis were still the original dental implants.
A dental implant is a small titanium fixture that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. The titanium is biocompatible, which means our body considers it as its own biologic substance. As such, when titanium implants are placed in the upper or lower jaw, the bone adheres to the titanium surface through osseo-integration, thus the fixture itself serves as the anchor post for the tooth that attaches to it.
When a single tooth is missing, a single fixture is used to support a single crown. However when a segment of adjacent teeth is missing, it is not necessary to place a fixture in the site of every missing tooth. When only 2 adjacent teeth are missing, and if this is in the front of the mouth, a bridge of 2 crowns can be supported by the single fixture to replace both teeth. When in the back of the mouth, or when more than 2 teeth are missing, 2 or more implants may be used to support an entre segment. A segment of up to 4 teeth may be supported by as few as two dental implants. Larger segments need more fixtures for support, and a full arch bridge of 12 teeth may be reliably supported by only 4 implants using our All On 4 and All On 4 Plus treatments.
Implant-supported replacement teeth are aimed to look, feel and function like natural teeth, and to allow you to eat and drink normally with renewed confidence. But apart from the implants themselves, at the All on 4 Clinic we also give consideration to appearance of the gums around the implants. In certain cases we may recommend enhancing the gums with Plastic & Reconstructive Oral Surgery for the best possible outcome.
The embarrassment, irritation and self-consciousness often experienced by people who have missing teeth, those who wear dentures or who have suffered through older methods of tooth replacement may be overcome with the confidence of permanently anchored dental implants.
From replacing a single tooth to a full set teeth replacement, the latest developments in dental implants offer an attractive solution for people dealing with uncomfortable dentures or deteriorating teeth. Implant-supported replacement teeth are permanent, better looking and unlike previous implant options, may take only a few days to complete. Both the surgery and the restorative stages of your treatment are performed right at the clinic, thus ensuring optimal care and quality control.