Dental implants are not new contrary to what many people think. Evidence of replacing missing teeth with metal rods were discovered by archaeologists while studying human remains from ancient Egypt and Mayan civilizations. But a real breakthrough took place as a result of pure scientific coincidence. Swedish anatomy professor and researcher Dr. Invar Branemark noted an unusual bone growth that occurred around titanium chambers that he was using to fix bone fractures in his lab animals. He observed an interesting phenomenon whereas bone rapidly grew around the titanium fixtures and he could not remove them. This lead to a discovery of osteointegration. Thanks to a remarkable chemical feature of pure titanium that turned out to be so biocompatible with bone tissue that it was later repeated and confirmed by the same or similar experiments involving titanium fixtures placed into the bone. Though Branemark intended a broad medical application of his discovery it was dentistry that was selected to become a flagship of titanium orthopedics before it traveled into all those knee and hip replacements. Hence dental implantology was born. Or shall we say re-born?
So what is so remarkable about titanium after all? Further research showed that it is not the pure metal itself but rather its oxidated form which is immediately formed on a surface of titanium sample that was responsible for “bone recognition”. It turned out that it was the titanium oxide that was so positively “greeted” by bone tissue that readily adhered to it as opposed to forming a “foreign body” capsule and further rejecting it.
Since the first dental implants were introduced there has been a tremendous design and engineering evolution that led to usage of various forms and types of titanium fixtures to achieve the best integration and optimal force distribution. But the most popular and most prevalent one to these days remains a tooth root shaped design of dental implants that closely mimics the natural roots of a tooth. Even though they are called root formed implants, they really look like conventional screws . Such form is necessary to increase area of contact with bone tissue as well implants’ stability.
In a few words, it would be safe to define dental implants as titanium (or sometimes even porcelain) hollow screw like tubes that are placed directly into a jaw bone and once undergone the process of “integration” with surrounding bone tissue later restored with tooth like structure.
Note: the most crucial condition here is for an implant “to be surrounded” by bone tissue. Otherwise the integration process does not take place to the fullest and later an implant fails due to “foreign body rejection” phenomenon. Therefore it became absolutely crucial to place implants into available jaw bone or the bone had to be “replaced” or “regrown” or as we refer to it “bone grafted“.
Since its inception the implant dentistry has grown into a recognized specialty, a hybrid between oral surgery and restorative orthopedic dentistry thus further integrating dentistry into general and surgical medicine. And rightfully so. Nowadays, an implant practitioner has to be well versed in many areas of dentistry and medicine. Successful placement and restoration of dental implants requires vast knowledge and expertise in various fields such as bone biology, head and neck anatomy, pharmacology, otolarygology and many others. Surgical skills and techniques’ mastering is also paramount.
Dr. Daniyar has completed a special residency training as well as numerous post graduate courses in implant dentistry. In recognition of his contribution to development of implant dentistry and for his commitment to providing highest standards of treatment to his patients Dr. Daniyar has been awarded a status of an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AIID) where he is holding current active professional membership.