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Dental Implants: Are They for Me?

By Thomas D. Taylor, D.D.S., M.S.D., and William R. Laney, D.M.D., M.S.


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When dental implants that have been placed in your jawbone are successful, osseointegration occurs. This term means bone connection. The metal or ceramic part of the implant is placed into your jawbone, then the bone actually attaches itself directly to the implant, growing all around it and supporting it firmly.

Some implant systems encourage a soft tissue scar layer between the implant and bone; it is suggested that this scar tissue serves like a ligament in connecting a natural tooth root to its bony socket. However, this theory has not been scientifically proven. In addition, a scar layer contributes to implant movement, permitting undesirable communication between bone and the mouth, and does not react well to biting forces.

Scientific data do tell us that implant systems based on osseointegration are predictable and highly successful. Your dentist can discuss this with you.

Illustration comparing the way a natural tooth attaches to bone and the way an implant attaches to bone

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