There is no question that over the last two decades dental implants have revolutionised tooth replacement and the practice of dentistry.
The concept of dental implants is not new, the earliest recorded attempts of their use were discovered in the Mayan civilization dating back to 600 A.D.
Today’s highly successful dental implants consist of root replacement for a natural tooth, to which a crown is attached, just like the teeth in your mouth when you smile, there is no visible difference. In addition they do not decay and are relatively free from developing gum disease. As with most treatment modalities in dentistry today, this not only involves scientific discovery, research and understanding, but application in clinical practice.
The practice of implant dentistry requires expertise in planning, surgical placement and crown fabrication; it is as much about art and experience as it is about science. It also requires teamwork between you, the patient, your dentist, an implant surgeon and dental technician.
This is an overview article on implant dentistry, more on individual topics will follow in future issues to provide you with the knowledge you need to make informed choices together with your dental health professionals.