The dental implants in Fulham we provide are the product of a long development process. They are a form of restorative dentistry, which uses oral prosthetics, but unlike the wire bridge or crown, they are in direct contact with the jawbone and use artificial roots to function. Unlike a crown, they can take 4 to 6 months to successfully fuse, depending on your health and lifestyle.
What is an implant?
The modern dental implants in Fulham we use are made of three sections. An artificial root, which is made from titanium which extends from just beneath the gum line into the jawbone. The smallest section, a connector, sits at the gum line and a prosthetic tooth which is above the gum line.
The artificial root
In the 1950s, a project was being carried out by the US government into which metals were the most effective as surgical pins. An interesting observation was made; the titanium pin not only did not inhibit new bone growth but was ‘integrated’ with the osteoblasts, laying down new bone which adhered to the metal. This was unique to titanium and made the artificial roots possible.
The creation of new bone is slow compared to the growing of most tissues. The rate of new bone growth will impact the length of treatment time, with osteoporosis sufferers taking the longest for an implant to establish itself.
The connectors are new to the implant; the pre-connecter implants were manufactured by dental technicians as one piece, the titanium root capped with a ceramic/polymer crown. These were limited in that once ossified in place, they could move out of alignment or rotate.
The locking and non-locking connector
The locking connector allowed the implant to be fitted in two steps. The first step placed the artificial root into the jawbone, with the connector just below the gum line. This could then be left for several months, for the titanium to fuse with the bone while the gums grew over the connector, preventing it from moving or being disturbed.
Then in a second procedure, the prosthetic tooth was added to the connector, permanently locking the two pieces together. This created the issue that if the tooth became damaged or required replacing, the whole construct would have to be extracted in the same manner as a natural tooth.
We use non-locking connectors for our dental implants in Fulham They allow a prosthetic tooth to be removed by de-connecting it from the artificial root, permitting a new tooth to be connected. Thus avoiding the need for an extraction and re-ossification.
The intra-oral prosthetics are not the most technical aspect of the implant, but it is the bit the patients see every day, whether they are a single incisor, canine or molar. They are made for each patient to order in much the same way as crowns, matching their enamel shade and translucency. Your implants can become indistinguishable from your surrounding teeth. Due to the stain resistant nature of ceramics compared to enamel there may be a divergence in shade over time.