Osseointegration is one of the most critical aspects that determines the success of a dental implant. If you have experienced the loss of an adult tooth and are considering dental implants, you need to understand what osseointegration is and how it plays an integral role in a successful dental implant.
What is Osseointegration?
Osseointegration is when an implant integrates with the bone as the bone cells grow around the implant to securely grip the surface. The phenomenon was discovered by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark, during a study on microcirculation. He inserted a titanium tube for an optical device into a rabbit’s leg, but when he tried to remove the metallic tube, he could not separate it from the bone. His study established the connection between a living bone and how it can play an integral role in securing a metallic implant to restore joints. Later, the phenomenon was extended to dentistry and became a critical aspect of dental implants.
Osseointegration and a Successful Dental Implant
A dental implant is a metallic fixture placed in the jaw and serves as a replacement tooth root. Over time, the metallic dental implant integrates with the jawbone, thanks to osseointegration.
It takes a period of six weeks to six months for your dental implant to integrate fully with the jawbone. The time it takes for osseointegration depends on the location of the implant and the health of your jawbone. While the dental implant is healing and integrating with the jaw bone, you will still have a temporary tooth that will allow your oral cavity to function normally. Once the dental implant is fully integrated with the jawbone, the permanent replacement tooth is fixed on top of the dental implant, which helps restore your oral cavity's function.
Apart from providing a foundation for your replacement tooth, the integration of dental implants with your jawbone also serves other important functions. When dental implants are fully integrated with your jawbone, they help reduce bone loss and preserve the natural structure of your jaw. By helping you maintain proper chewing function, dental implants also exert natural forces on the jawbone that are critical to keep your jawbone healthy and functional. However, if you do not opt for dental implants following the loss of an adult tooth, the underlying jaw bone is likely to deteriorate due to the lack of stimulation that the bone gets due to chewing. Moreover, the loss of bone mass and shrinkage of the jawbone can also lead to changes in facial structure.
The success of dental implants heavily depends on the process of osseointegration. Once the dental implant integrates with the jawbone, it will look, feel and function like your natural teeth because it provides a supportive structure that functions similar to your natural tooth root.
If you are considering tooth replacement treatment such as dental implants, understanding how dental implants integrate with your jawbone can help provide you peace of mind. To learn more about dental implants and osseointegration, get in touch with Victor Nitu DDS. Call now at (480) 536-8228 and schedule your appointment.