There was a time not too long ago when cosmetic surgery was exclusive to the rich and famous. Just as procedures like face lifts and tummy-tucks have become both desirable and accessible to a broader population, more and more patients now are considering cosmetic dental implants.
Invented in 1952 by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark, dental implants have seen continuous advances in technology and science, especially over the past two decades, with the current success rate close to 98%. And while cosmetic surgeries are typically elective (e.g., there is no medical necessity), the goal of teeth replacement in dentistry is to restore function as well as esthetics.
“Many patients in the past only resorted to dental implants when there was a direct, physical need,” said Dr. Matthew Parr, D.D.S., owner of City Dental. “They might have had some type of oral health trauma – like an accident – and lost teeth. But with innovations in the treatment, and our ability to replace missing teeth without affecting or altering adjacent teeth, we’re seeing more patients considering dental implants as a cosmetic solution for a better smile.”
Equally important, because dental implants integrate into the bone structure, they’re exceedingly stable. Plus, they’ll have the look and feel of your own natural teeth.
How Dental Implants Work
Composed of titanium, a slim post is surgically planted into the jawbone where the tooth is missing. Over the course of a few months, the titanium fixture will fuse with the bone. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant is permanent. Dental implants are designed to serve as the tooth root and will anchor an artificial tooth or teeth, such as a crown, bridge, or dentures.
Ask the Expert
“Careful planning with a qualified surgeon is critical to ensuring a patient is healthy enough to undergo oral surgery and heal properly,” said Dr. Parr. Recently awarded a fellowship from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) for his experience in this area, Dr. Parr emphasizes a thorough review with prospective patients. He applies the following checklist:
Key Requirements for Candidates at Surf City Dental
- Possess good overall health to reduce risks associated with surgery
- Possess a strong, healthy jawbone to support the artificial tooth root/metal post
- Not have diabetes or a compromised immune system
- Not smoke
- Possess mature, developed bones (dental implants are not recommended for children)
- Have a history of good oral hygiene and health
“The bottom line is our commitment to helping patients maintain optimum health and feel confident about their physical appearance,” Dr. Parr said. “The two go hand in hand.”