What are dental implants?
Dental implants were invented way back in 1952 by Per-Ingvar Branemark, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon. Dental implant is an artificial replacement of missing permanent tooth. It is placed in the jawbone and is allowed to fuse with it over the course of time. It replaces the roots of missing tooth. This process of fusion between dental implant and jawbone is called osseo-integration. Since the implants are made up of titanium so there are no chances of rejection thereby increasing the success rate of dental implants to 98%. Dental implants can replace single tooth, several teeth or all teeth in the jaw.
Though it can be given to all but the only criteria is that the jaw bone should be fully formed in order to get an implant. This means children (since their jaw bone is still under development) are contraindicated from getting a dental implant. If a dental implant is used in children, it may hinder the growth of jaw and thus affect the growth of other teeth.
Minimum Age for Getting Dental Implants
Dental implants are preferred once the jaw has fully growth and this age varies as per the gender (due to different maturity ages). So, the age for getting dental implants varies too as per the gender.
Alternative Option Other Than Dental Implants in Children
Not getting a dental implant doesn’t mean that we can leave the space as it is. The space can be compensated by making a denture of one single tooth i.e. removable partial denture, a crown or a bridge and once the jaw growth is completed, the missing tooth can be replaced by a dental implant.
How To Know If The Jaw Has Grown To Its Full or Not?
Though there is no fixed age to know about the jaw growth but one should get your cephalometric radiograph done twice in 6 months interval and if no changes are seen than it becomes an ideal age for a dental implant to be fixed.
Some Interesting Facts about Dental Implants
Though there are many options like RPD (Removable Partial Denture), crown or bridge but dental implants are the only option that mimics natural teeth the best.
First ever dental implants were traced back to around 600 A.D, when tooth like shell pieces were hammered into the jaw of a women belonging to mayan community.
Since made up to titanium, dental implants do not suffer rejection.
If you have dental implant, feel safe from cavities. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brush. They need care equivalent to natural teeth.