Safety of Osseointegration in Denture Stabilisation

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Dental implants are support structures placed in niches drilled into the jawbone by a skilled dentist using highly specialised surgical equipment. These implants are left for several months after insertion to fuse with the surrounding bone, an event which while still not completely understood, is critical to the health and success of an implant procedure.

Osseointegration is the term used to describe this fusion process, and is by no means restricted to dental implants alone. Bone and joint replacements are often designed and expected to undergo the same changes, fusing with the surrounding bone to form a stable structure which lasts longer and provides increased functionality.

The success of dental implant procedures is usually assessed through osseointegration. If an implant has successfully fused with the bone and is stable with no signs of infection, then it is considered successful. Conversely, any sign of movement from the implant after treatment, an indication that it hasn’t fused with the surrounding bone, is a sign that the procedure has failed.

Ultimately the importance of osseointegration lies in the provision of a strong and dependable implant which can withstand greater biting forces and allow a patient access to a broader range of foods. Classic dentures that were not fixed to implants would often restrict the dietary habits of patients as these could not withstand the forces involved in chewing certain foods. Osseointegration is part of what brings dental implants a step closer to providing prosthetics that are as close to natural teeth as possible.

Is osseointegration safe?

The safety of this process is an understandable concern for many people, and it is important to point out that osseointegration actually promotes and enhances the safety of dental implants rather than the opposite.

By fusing with the jawbone, dental implants become more secure and less likely to move, they also share any forces experienced when chewing with the surrounding jawbone, mimicking the action of natural tooth roots.

Fused dental implants are also important to maintaining the density and integrity of jawbone, which can degenerate over time in the absence of teeth.

Ultimately osseointegration has proven to be an effective and lasting tool in the dental implant world. It has been about three decades since the insertion of the first of this type of implant, and surviving patients who bear these early prosthetics still benefit from their robustness.

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