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Modern dental implants are almost all made of titanium metal inserted into the jaw bone to support artificial teeth made with tooth-like materials. The material could be porcelain, lithium disilicate, composite resin, acrylic or zirconia. There are a few implants made with zirconium oxide, however. The titanium implants are usually greyish metallic, and the zirconium oxide ones are white. Titanium implants have a long history of success. The first titanium dental implant was placed in a human volunteer in 1965 by an orthopedic surgeon named Dr. Branemark. The white Zirconium oxide implant has a shorter history; it was first introduced in 2005.

Dental implants function like roots in the jaw bone to solidly support structures like crowns, bridges and dentures in the mouth that the patients would otherwise could not have. In order to place the implant in the bone, several surgical procedures may involve. After the implant is placed in the bone, a few months is needed for the bone to heal tightly around the implants before the implants can support functional teeth.

There are many other benefits of having the implants besides having new teeth that do not move:

  • Maintain jaw bone by reducing bone resorption of the jaw bone where the implants are located. Without the implants in the bone, the bone will gradually become smaller in dimension and density.
  • Can confidently chew more solid food without pain from the otherwise sliding, painful and unstable dentures.
  • Improved appearance and smile because implant-supported teeth can look and feel like your own teeth, having the appearance of pink gums around the teeth naturally.
  • Improved speech with the spaces having teeth and no more unstable, loose dentures
  • Improved comfort because the implants become part of you; implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
  • Improved self-esteem because dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
  • Improved oral health because implants can be placed in the bone where the teeth are missing, either immediately or after extractions. Implants do not involve other teeth as a tooth-supported bridge does. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
  • Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
  • Convenience because implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures and the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.

There are many shapes and sizes of implants. Conventional implants usually have a width between 3.3 mm to 6 mm. Mini-implants are long and narrow and have a width of between 2.2 to 3.00.

Lately, Keystone Dental has developed wide-body implants ranging from 7 mm to 9 mm. The wide-body implants are for immediate replacement of a molar tooth in the same sitting after a tooth is removed. A conventional implant is often not suited for immediate placement in the molar extraction socket because the smaller size cannot effectively fill up the wide of the socket of the molar after extraction. On the other hand, a wide-body one can fill up the space of the molar socket much better and, therefore, have more stability. Better stability means a better outcome in the healing process.

Wide body dental implant
Wide-body implant
Conventional dental implant
Conventional dental implant
Mini-implant
Mini-implant

Another nice feature of these wide-body implants is the shorter lengths than conventional implants. They only need shorter lengths because they have much wider diameters that provide more surface area for bone to heal into them. Frequently, there is not enough bone depth for a conventional implant to be inserted before it encroaches into vital structures like the sinuses, inferior alveolar nerve, lingual nerve, and blood vessels. A shorter wide-body implant can be a good option in cases like these.

The other benefits of the broad platform of the wide-body implant allow for an emergence profile suitable for a molar restoration, less food trap and more aesthetic. Because they are ideal for immediate placement in a multi-rooted molar extraction socket, therefore they require a less surgical procedure, shorter treatment time and maximized bone preservation.

At Affinity Dental Care, we provide implant treatments using conventional implants and the new wide-body implant to restore teeth with crowns, bridges and secured dentures for our patients.

Image courtesy of Keystone Dental
Courtesy of Keystone Dental
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