Dental Implants are by far man’s greatest innovation in the field of Dentistry. They have withstood the test of time for more than 40 years. Dental implants have been through infinite modifications and improvements empowered by research, to perfect the ultimate design and maximize the benefits. Their spectrum of use has extended broadly from single tooth replacements to full arch rehabilitation – The All on 4 Treatment, with great success over the years.
Dental implants dates back to hundreds and thousands of years where man in the earliest civilization used primitive forms of implants. Archaeologists have retrieved skulls dated to the Mayan civilization in 600 A.D with missing teeth replaced by jade, seashell fragments and carved stones in the shape of pegs. Scientists globally had similar finding. In ancient China the use of bamboo pegs tapped into bone and in Egypt similar pegs to replace missing teeth made of precious metals. However it has not been established whether these were functional.
(Photograph shows primitive form of implants made of wood)
The real breakthrough in the field of Dental Implants came about by the works of an orthopaedic surgeon, Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark in 1950. Professor Brånemark is known fondly today as the ‘Father of Modern Dental Implantology’ around the world. Much of his great work followed after he discovered he could not remove a small titanium cylinder placed into the bone of a rabbit in an attempt to study bone healing. It was in this moment Professor Brånemark discovered a special property of titanium to fuse to bone directly; to which he coined the term ‘Osseointegration’ (bone fused to the implant at its interface). This formed the fundamental basis of which all other modern day implants were developed over the next many years.
Professor Brånemark placed his first titanium dental implant into a human volunteer in 1965 which proved a great deal of success. This was a crucial moment in dental history. The design and procedures related to implants, evolved with ongoing research, design modifications and improvement to perfect and create the ideal implant system.
The early dental implants were mostly used for implant supported dentures. This was mainly for older patients who had been missing teeth for long periods of time.
Today, there are several varieties of implant supported dentures available in the market, a Bar-retained denture and Ball-retained denture. All these variations have their final dentures made of acrylic which is a plastic material that matches the colour of the gums with porcelain or acrylic teeth. They differ in their attachment to the underlying implants by either clips, magnets or bars.
Pioneer implants were all of the same circumference, adhering to the concept of ‘one size fits all’, only their length was variable. Through numerous research over the years it was found that the bony architecture varied widely between individuals and in different parts of the mouth and variations were needed to place implants under such challenging conditions. Today, implants have a broad spectrum of usage in various designs, shapes and sizes for single tooth replacement, multi teeth replacement with the standard root form implants (implant supported crowns and bridges).
The latest innovation is the All On 4 treatment
The All On 4 treatment is designed to replace your failing natural teeth or existing dentures with a set of fixed, non-removable permanent teeth. Your new teeth are fully supported by four dental implants. The end result is an aesthetically pleasing, functional set of teeth that are easy to clean and maintain.
The All On 4 treatment first became popular in the 1990’s when its overwhelming success became widely accepted. It was designed to provide people with an alternative to ordinary dentures using as few dental implants as possible. This meant that cost of replacing your own teeth with implant supported teeth can be dramatically reduced. It was also designed to utilise the best quality bone found at the front of the mouth to stabilise the implants which means that people with very minimal bone can also benefit from the treatment.
The All On 4 Treatment is customised to each patients needs and wishes, but one of the greatest benefits of this treatment is the time it takes to complete it. The vast majority of cases can be completed within three days after implant placement surgery, allowing people to return to their routine quickly and confidently.
Contact All on 4 Smiles today to know more about the All on 4 treatment.