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Dental Implants | The Basics

A brief view of the history of dental implants

We now know that modern dental implants are very successful. There are volumes of scientific research as well as several decades of clinical use which have demonstrated their usefulness in replacing a missing tooth and/or missing teeth.

Modern dental implants have been used since the mid-1960s and early 1970s. They gained a great deal of popularity starting the mid 1980s. The recent growth in dental implants is based upon a scientific discovery made in 1952 by an orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Branemark. He found out that small titanium cylinders — which he had placed in bone to study the bones' microscopic healing — actually bonded or fused to living bone. This unique property that titanium has to fuse to bone is called osseointegration. Osseo meaning "bone" and integration meaning "fusion" or "joining with". This is the biological basis of all modern implant successes.

Per-Ingvar Branemark, the designer and inventor of Osseo integrated implants, was Dr. Meltzer’s teacher. Dr. Meltzer spent time in Sweden with Dr. Branemark and his team in the mid- and late-1980s learning this new technology directly from him. Over the past decades, Dr. Meltzer has placed and performed many thousands of dental implant procedures and is viewed nationally and internationally as one of the leading experts in the dental implant field.

The implants originally designed by Dr. Branemark were first introduced for people who had lost all of their teeth and had great difficulty stabilizing and tolerating classic removable dentures.

Today, based upon Branemark’s original work, most implants are used to replace either a single tooth or multiple missing teeth. Implants have come a long way since the original design, which was basically one size fits all. The original Branemark implants were all the same diameter, with only the length being variable. Today, implants come in various shapes and sizes.

While the original surface of the Branemark implants were machined from titanium, most modern implants have altered surfaces. A rod of commercially pure and latest surface is one in which the classic machined software is blasted and etched to produce micro- and nano-roughness that further encourages the Osseo-integrative process. This alteration of size, shape, and surface has led to improved implant function leading in technology, such as our New Smile Today protocol, which includes the immediate replacement of a single tooth, multiple teeth, or full arches of teeth. Dr. Meltzer’s New Smile Today protocols include such technology including, but not limited to, All-On-4™, Teeth In One Day™, and Teeth In One Hour™.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are an option for individuals who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or aestheic reasons.

Dental implants have a number of benefits over a traditional bridge or dentures:

  • Dental implants wont slip or feel loose while you eat
  • Dental Implants are permanent
  • Dental implants are natural-looking and fully functional
  • Success rate – Implants are permanently successful about 98% of the time
  • Cosmetic reasons - Missing teeth can cause your features to sag and your face to lose shape which tends to have an aging effect

How Long Does a Dental Implant Last?

This can be dependent on patient variables. However, dental implants typically last a patient who is 45 years or older, for life. The actual implant can last for a number of years, or even a lifetime with proper dental care, making them a cost-efficient alternative to other options of tooth replacement.  Dental bridges last 5-10 years and crowns typically last 10-15 years. 

Dental Implant Specialist in South Jersey

Dr. Alan Meltzer, the director of Advanced Oral Specialty Group has over a decade of experience in dental implants and periodontics, combined with training in all aspects of dentistry. Contact us today to request an appointment. 

Dr. Meltzer is a board certified periodontist in Voorhees, South Jersey. His practice Advanced Oral Specialty Group serves patients in New Jersey, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Camden, Gloucester, Mount Laurel and other surrounding South Jersey cities. 

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