If you're like many people, you think of dental implants as a time-consuming and possibly even painful process. After all, the traditional process involves three separate stages -- first the implants themselves, then the post, finally, the crown -- and this procedure can take up to a year in some cases, with infection and other potential side effects frequently being part of the picture. However, recent technology has changed significantly in ways that make the process much easier for patients. If you've been hesitant to discuss dental implants with your dentist, this is a good time to reconsider. Following are four recent advances in implant technology.
Built-In Medication Reservoirs
Infection has long been a concern for those receiving dental implants, but thanks to new technology, the risk of that happening has been substantially reduced. Researchers in Belgium have developed an implant with a built-in reservoir situated under the crown designed to gradually release infection-fighting medications to the area. The medications can be refilled by your dentist on as a-needed basis until the danger of infection has passed.
Also referred to as small diameter implants, mini implants offer several advantages over their traditional counterparts. Because the screws are significantly smaller, they are far less invasive, for instance. They don't take nearly as long to heal, and costs may be substantially lower. Your dental surgeon will be able to tell you whether or not you are a good candidate for mini implants.
Lightweight, fine-grained, and exceptionally strong, nanostructured titanium provides several advantages to using standard implant coatings -- the main one being that this material makes it possible for implants to be a one-day procedure instead of the time-consuming traditional method.
Dental surgeons have traditionally relied on several standard CAT scans from a variety of angles to generate a composite picture of the area in questions. However, 3-D imaging provides a much more accurate rendition, therefore making it easier for surgeons to do their job -- and this means a better experience for the patient. Chances of mishaps are reduced, surgery times are shorter, and the imaging process itself takes only a few seconds.
This technology allows for guided surgery. Guided surgery offers optimal safety and efficiency as well as highly predictable results because the surgeon is able to pre-plan the procedure.
Your dental professional will have more information and advice for you regarding today's dental implants.