The medical field is always evolving. Every day there are new studies and new techniques to give patients the best care. This is true for dentistry as well as other fields of medicine. For example, there was a time when the alternative to tooth loss was ugly, uncomfortable wooden dentures because that was the best science and technology could come up with at the time. Now there are so many other options and the technology is still evolving and improving every day.
There are many options for tooth loss now. Traditional methods like full or partial dentures, dental bridges or newer options like dental implants, which are titanium rods inserted into the jawbone in the place of the missing teeth and then fitted with artificial models of your teeth, creating a natural look. However, while dental implants are the best choice for a long-lasting, natural smile, they can present problems. Tooth loss is often caused by damage or decay to the gums and this damage can create issues when attempting to secure your dental implants.
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Traditional Dental Implants[/caption]
This problem is the subject of a new article in the Journal of Oral Implantology. The article discusses the problem of gum damage and tissue loss and looks at xenografts as an option for improving the tissue and creating an optimal environment for a dental implant. Under this technique, an oral surgeon would need to place a stent to make sure the tissues stays in place and for optimal healing.
Ideally, you would want to do this before the dental implants are placed. However, sometimes the tissue will seem okay at the time of implantation and then start to deteriorate further, at which point reparation becomes necessary. This can be tricky because you don’t want to damage the implant and this is why researchers are still trying to figure out the best and least invasive technique for restoring the tissue.
In addition, sometimes xenografts aren’t enough and other type of tissue may be required. There are several potential sources for this additional tissue and scientists debate which is best. You can use human tissue or tissue from another species, with porcine tissue being one of the most popular. The article in question looks into the use of porcine grafts and evaluates their effectiveness. Porcine grafts are generally used with natural teeth, not dental implants, but evolution is the key to medicine and it is important to test new idea and techniques.
The current study followed 11 patients, all of with varying types of dental implants, and put them through the same procedures, using porcine grafts to repair the soft tissue damage and provide support for their existing implants. The patients were then monitored and evaluated after a period of several weeks to see how the grafts had healed. The result was that if a wide piece of collagen graft was used then it would provide adequate support for the implant. All 11 patients had normal healing.
Dental implants are becoming a popular solution to tooth loss and it is important to have solutions available to support any resulting tissue damage and make sure the implants are supported. That is why new research is so important, because it leads to better care for patients.
Check out this video on how Dental Implants work:
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