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A diagram of dental implant at Periodontal Associates. Dental implants are a highly effective solution for lost teeth. Crowns mimic natural teeth in their form and function and titanium posts bond with and stimulate your jaw bone, allowing the implants to act just like a natural tooth would.

Unfortunately, implants can occasionally fail, and if this happens we will need you to come in so we can repair or replace them.

The Structure of an Implant


Most dental implants are made of a titanium post that is embedded in the jaw bone, a ceramic crown that acts as a replacement tooth and an abutment that connects the post and the crown. If one of these parts loosens or breaks, all three can become compromised.

Titanium is usually chosen for implants because it bonds with the jaw bone in a process known as osseointegration. If this process doesn't occur properly then you'll end up with an implant that isn't firmly in place. This will lead to problems later on.

Signs that an Implant May Fail


If the bone doesn't grow around the implant in the right way, mobility is often the primary signal that the implant may fail. This mobility is often very slight at first and usually only a dentist can see it, but as time goes on an implant that hasn't integrated properly can shift when you chew or speak. Implants that have failed completely with frequently.

Other warnings signs of impending failure include pain, inflammation, and infection, but these do not always occur. If Dr. Eshraghi notices that your implant is moving, he may conduct an x-ray to make sure the bone is growing. If the implant is failing, the x-ray may reveal considerable bone loss around the metal area.

Repair and Replacement


In cases where the implant crown becomes cracked or detached, it is an easy matter for us to attach a new, or make any other repairs if necessary. However, if the damage to the implant is too severe, we will need to remove and replace it.

It is easy for us to remove a failed dental implant, but we will need to use a local anesthetic for this procedure. Once the implant is removed Dr. Eshraghi will carefully clean the area. Then we can begin the process of inserting a new implant, making careful note of what went wrong the first time. If there is enough healthy bone in the same area, we won't need a bone graft.

However, in cases of significant bone loss, we may need to place a bone graft to improve the site of the removed implant before placing a new one. Once the bone graft is complete, your mouth may need several months to heal before we can put in a new implant. During the healing period, Dr. Eshraghi may ask you to quit smoking, postpone cancer treatment or make other lifestyle adjustments that will reduce the risk of the next implant failing as well.

Always remember to take good care of your implants by brushing and flossing daily. Also take care to eat a balanced diet and abstain from using your teeth as tools, as this can chip them. If you experience any problems with your implants, contact us right away.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please give us a call at (971) 317-8414.

Dental Implant Materials


A Brief History of Dental Implants


Dental implants have revolutionized tooth restoration, but if it weren't for a providential accident, we might never have discovered them. In 1952, a Swedish doctor named Per-Ingvar Brånemark discovered that when he placed titanium in contact with bone, the bone grew alongside the titanium. As time went on, one could not remove the titanium without cutting into the bone around it. This discovery (a process known as osseointegration) later developed into dental implants.

Titanium Implants


Dental scientists have tested other materials for implants since then. Titanium has worked exceptionally well. Today, over 95% of dental implants use titanium alloys, and they have a success rate of 98% even 10 years after installation, with not a single case of an allergic reaction to the titanium.

Zirconium Implants


However, a small percentage of patients have had allergic reactions to other metals used in titanium implants, prompting a search for a metal-free implant option. Zirconium became another material of choice because of its strength, hardness, and biocompatibility (that is, its ability to osseointegrate with bone).

Zirconia dental implants don't have the dark colors of the metal showing through the gums. The zirconia will not corrode, and it is thermally non-conductive. It also doesn't have currents between dissimilar metals in the mouth.

Titanium Implants vs. Zirconium Implants


Unlike zirconia, titanium has a much longer history of time-tested use. Given their flexible options for surgical placement, titanium implants have several advantages over zirconia.

One-Piece and Two-Piece Systems


Titanium implants are also more versatile than zirconia since we can make them as one-piece or two-piece systems. In a two-piece system, the implant is placed in the jaw bone to replace the tooth root. An abutment or post is attached to the implant, which protrudes through the gums. The crown is placed on top of it.

A two-piece system is more versatile and has a lot more prosthetic options. We can use them to snap overdentures into place (which are removable teeth), and we can also attach permanent teeth to the implants with screws or cement.

We are also able to position the implant off-angle by a small margin and then correct it with a specially-made post. We can modify zirconium implants if they are off-angle, but this isn't the best option compared to what we can do with a separate post.

Time Needed for Osseointegration


Both titanium and zirconium implants will need a period of several months for the osseointegration process to finish. Once the implant has fused with the bone we can place the last pieces of the prosthetic. If one-piece zirconium implants are used, it can complicate the healing process since we can't embed the implant underneath the gum tissue. If the implant is moved or if pressure is placed on it, it can't osseointegrate.

All things considered, both titanium implants and zirconium implants have unique benefits. However, the type of implant used will ultimately depend on the procedure in question and the patient's individual needs. We work with our patients closely to make sure that we both make the right choice.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please give us a call at (971) 317-8414.
Periodontal Associates in Beaverton, OR

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