2. In the modern age dental implants are usually made of titanium. Titanium was discovered by English Clergyman and amateur geologist William Gregor in 1791 in Cornwall. Indeed the discovery of titanium is so elemental (pun intended!) to the development of modern implant dentistry that the Swedish physician and researcher Professor Branemark, known as the founding father of modern implantology, made a pilgrimage to the spot in Cornwall where Gregor first discovered titanium.
3. The most difficult thing about placing dental implants is having enough bone as the bone usually shrinks back after a tooth has been extracted. Dentist have all kinds of ingenious ways to get around this problem. In the top jaw this can involve a procedure to push up the floor of the sinus and fill the gap underneath with bone graft. In extreme cases where there isn't enough bone in the top jaw, very long implants are used that go all the way up into the cheek bones. Bone grafts can be from the chin or side of the jaw of the patient, or can be medically prepared from cow, pig or horse bone. Synthetic materials can also be used.
4. Implant companies are always trying to compete against each other for the latest innovations. These include things like using different surfaces treatments or coatings on the implant, with lasers, acid etching or sandblasting to help them integrate into the bone more quickly.
5. You can't get tooth decay on a dental implant but you can get gum disease around a dental implant. Good oral hygiene around dental implants is especially important.
6. Some people spend a whole day in the dental chair, having their remaining failing teeth removed, several implants placed in each jaw, with a technician on site to construct new teeth to go on top immediately. A very long day in the chair, but the results are life changing!
6. Although dental implants are expensive at the outset, they have a very high success rate and can last a very long time. This means they may well be more cost effective in the long term than cheaper options.
7. As people get older and lose teeth they often have full or part dentures. However the chewing power with dentures is a fraction of he chewing power with natural teeth. However the chewing power with implants is similar to that of natural teeth. This is important because it is often seen that the nutritional status of denture wearers is affected by the easy to eat soft diet they choose. Having dental implants enables people to eat a full and varied diet and the nutritional benefit of this is often reflected in better general health.