The Next Best Thing to a Real Tooth — Dental Implants

Implant DentistryDental implants have become a standard dental improvement over the past 15 years or so. People think they’ve only been around during this surge in popularity, but dental implants in one form or another have been around quite awhile.

Since Dr. Miller works with implants on just about a daily basis, he thought maybe it would be interesting for his patients to know about his preferred method for replacing a missing tooth, implants.

Where did dental implants come from?

Sure, modern dental implants with their titanium base and all seem very new and modern. But humans have never liked either the look or function of missing teeth. And they’ve tried different ways of replacing them. Archeological digs have unearthed implanted seashells and ivory in the jawbone of ancient Mayans and Egyptians. Who wouldn’t want a cochina shell sitting in there between their natural teeth? We could just drive over to Lincoln City to get all we need!

OK, those were more rudimentary attempts. But for the implants we use today, their history isn’t quite so ancient. The modern implant can be traced back to 1952. Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark, was studying bone healing and regeneration. He inserted a titanium screw into a rabbit tibia to mend a break but found that when he tried to remove the screw later the bone had fully grown around it and it couldn’t be removed. A decade of research followed and the modern dental implant debuted in 1965.

For our Portland and Hillsboro patients, Dr. Miller believes dental implants are the best solution to replace missing teeth, whether it is a tooth that is already gone or a tooth that is so badly damaged or decayed that it requires extraction.

Most of us know someone who has opted to not replace a missing tooth. What’s the big deal? The big deal is the alignment of your teeth because when you don’t replace a tooth the teeth on each side tend to slide over into the gap, messing up your alignment and your bite. And that bites!

Fun facts about dental implants

Now that you’re becoming an expert at dental implants, here are some facts about missing teeth and implants:

  • An estimated 69% of Americans age 35 to 44 have at least one missing tooth.
  • 25% of Americans over age 74 have lost all of their natural teeth.
  • Dental implants are a titanium screw that is set into the hole in the jawbone where the natural tooth root was anchored. The jawbone then grows around the implant in a process known as osseointegration.
  • Once in place, implants function like a natural tooth, transferring the energy from biting and chewing down into the jawbone beneath the artificial tooth. This stimulation is responsible for the jawbone continually renewing itself, a process that prevents bone loss.
  • Implants can also be used to anchor partial or complete dentures.
  • Implants now have a 98% success rate.

If you’re missing a tooth, let’s fill the gap with the best thing to come to dentistry in a long time, the dental implant. Call Dr. Miller at 503-640-9310 for an appointment.



Posted in: Dental Implants

Leave a response