At Foley & Le Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, we’re dedicated to providing our patients with cutting-edge, evidence-based dental solutions that improve lives. One of these remarkable treatments is dental implants. These permanent, natural-looking tooth replacements are changing the way patients and clinicians approach tooth loss. 

A critical component of the success of dental implants is the process of osseointegration. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind osseointegration and its crucial role in successful dental implant therapy.

What is Osseointegration?

Osseointegration is the direct, structural, and functional connection between living bone and the surface of a dental implant. The term ‘osseointegration’ combines the Latin words for ‘bony’ (osseus) and ‘to make whole’ (integrare). This unique biological phenomenon allows dental implants to integrate with the jawbone, providing a stable foundation for replacing missing teeth.

Famed Swedish physician and research professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark first discovered osseointegration in the 1950s. He observed that titanium, a biocompatible material often used in dental and orthopedic implants, could fuse with living bone tissue, creating a strong bond that lasted for years. This discovery laid the groundwork for modern dental implantology and revolutionized the field of restorative dentistry. 

How Does Osseointegration Work?

The process of osseointegration begins when a dental implant, typically made of titanium, is surgically placed into the jawbone. Titanium is ideal for dental implants because of its biocompatibility, allowing it to interact with the bone and body without causing adverse reactions or being rejected by the immune system. Note: Zirconia is also a biocompatible material but is less commonly used for dental implants due to limitations of the material compared to titanium.

Following implantation, several stages occur:

1. Inflammatory Phase

The initial inflammatory phase occurs when the body reacts to the implant’s presence. Immune cells surround the implant site, removing bacteria and debris while promoting blood clotting. This process sets the stage for bone-forming cells to begin their work.

2. Proliferative Phase

During the proliferative phase, specialized bone cells called osteoblasts migrate to the implant site. They begin to deposit layers of new bone matrix, which fills in the gaps between the implant and existing bone structure.

3. Remodeling Phase

The remodeling phase involves the maturation and reshaping of newly formed bone. Osteoclasts, bone-resorbing cells, work alongside osteoblasts to restructure and strengthen the bond between the implant and the jawbone.

Throughout these stages, the bone tissue and the titanium implant become fused, creating a stable foundation for attaching the prosthetic tooth replacement, such as a crown, bridge, or denture. 

Factors Affecting Osseointegration

Successful osseointegration is influenced by several factors, including:

  • Patient health: Patients with diabetes, osteoporosis, immune suppression, previous radiation therapy, patients taking methotrexate,or gum disease may have a higher risk of implant failure or delayed osseointegration.
  • Smoking: Smoking can negatively affect wound healing and impair the osseointegration process.
  • Implant design and material: Technological advancements in implant design, surface characteristics, and materials have increased the success rate of osseointegration.
  • Bone quality and quantity: Sufficient healthy bone is crucial for implant stability. Bone augmentation procedures can help address areas of bone loss or weakness.
  • Surgical technique: Proper implant placement is essential for a successful outcome.

The Key To Successful Dental Implants

When searching for a dental implant specialist, look for a clinician with experience and expertise in the diagnosis, planning, and surgical placement of dental implants. Not all surgeons are equal, so it’s important to ask about their professional qualifications and experience.

At Foley & Le, our board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons are highly trained in the surgical placement of dental implants and utilize evidence-based protocols to ensure a successful outcome. 

Dr. Benjamin Foley has extensive training in titanium and zirconia dental implants, as well as advanced bone augmentation procedures. Dr. Thao Le also has extensive training in dental implants and bone grafting procedures. Dr. Daniel B Foley has been placing dental implants since 1986 and has placed more than 12,000 dental implants!

Dental Implants Boulder CO

At Foley & Le, we understand the importance of dental implants and believe that no one should have to live with missing teeth. If you’re living in Boulder CO or the surrounding area and would like to learn more about your tooth replacement options, we invite you to contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Our experienced team is here to answer all your questions and discuss your tailored treatment plan. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile!

To schedule an appointment with one of our experienced surgeons, call (303) 444-2255 or complete the online booking form. If you are searching for a dental implants near me, contact the experts at Foley & Le.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Osseointegration Take?

The process of osseointegration typically takes 3-6 months. After osseointegration is complete, the prosthetic tooth replacement can then be attached.

What Is the Success Rate of Dental Implants?

The success rate of dental implants depends on several factors, including patient health and implant design. Generally, the success rate of dental implants is 94-99%. With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Can Osseointegration Fail?

Yes, osseointegration can fail if the implant is not placed correctly, the patient has an underlying medical condition, or if proper postoperative care is not taken. It’s important to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions for aftercare and visit regularly for checkups. This will help ensure that osseointegration is successful.

Does Smoking Affect Osseointegration?

Yes, smoking will negatively impact implant surgery and impede the process of osseointegration. It’s important to quit smoking prior to undergoing implant surgery, as well as during healing and recovery. This will help reduce your risk of complications and ensure a successful outcome.

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