Did you know that dental implants have a history nearly as long as civilization itself? Archeologists have found evidence of Ancient Egyptians stabilizing teeth with gold wire as early as 2500 BC—and of Mayans using shells as mandibular implants as early as 600 AD.
That’s some serious dental surgery more than 1,400 years ago!
Even though the dental implant procedure and materials of choice have vastly improved over the last few centuries (don’t worry…we won’t be shoving seashells in your mouth!), the basic concept has remained surprisingly similar.
Modern dental implants are still a great way to replace a missing tooth, and recent technological advances have only made implants better.
In this post, we’ll be taking a quick look at the history of dental implants: what they are, how traditional dental implants work, and why we as a Waxahachie dentist exclusively offer Kat Implants.
Let’s start with the basics.
What Are Dental Implants?
Simply put, dental implants are an artificial tooth root comprised of three components:
- Implant: Made out of titanium, the implant is surgically placed into your jawbone where your tooth used to be. The implant serves as the “root” of your tooth replacement.
- Abutment: This piece is placed on top of the implant to connect it to the crown.
- Crown: Basically a cap, the crown covers the implant and looks just like a real tooth.
If you’re wondering what dental implants are good for, the answer may be a bit more complicated than you think.
Many patients associate dental implants with aesthetics—which, of course, is an important factor for any tooth procedure. But far more than just filling in your smile, a dental implant also works to prevent bone loss, just in the same way that a natural tooth root would.
If you don’t replace a missing tooth with some kind of implant, you’re putting yourself at risk of:
- Gum recession
- Premature tooth wear
- Bone loss in the jaw
- Shifting teeth
- Jaw aches or headaches
- Difficulty eating
And these potentially painful conditions may shrink in comparison to the financial pain associated with putting off a tooth replacement for too long.
Types of Dental Implants
Although we’ve seen evidence of dental implants dating back millenia, modern dental implants really began with Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a Swedish orthopedic surgeon who conducted the first titanium dental implant procedure in 1965.
This discovery and his patent for osseointegration set off a “golden era” in implant technology, leading to the development of dozens, if not hundreds, of different types of teeth implants.
At their core, however, every endosteal implant works in the same way: by using a small screw in the jawbone to attach and retain the crown. (Another type of dental implant, a subperiosteal implant, sits on top of the jawbone. This implant is usually recommended for patients whose jawbones cannot support a screw-based implant.)
Like any other system in the world, dental implants are only as good as their weakest link—and these small retaining screws are definitely the weak link in traditional implant systems. They can loosen with time, or worse yet, break inside the implant.
Instruments and techniques have been invented to deal with the screw loosening and breakage of conventional tooth implants, but what if these problems could be completely eliminated?
This is where KAT implants come in.
What’s Different About the KAT Implant System?
Developed by Vitali Bondar, DDS, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, KAT Implants have revolutionized the dental implant procedure by eliminating the need for small, so-often-problematic retaining screws.
In fact, the KAT system uses no screw of any kind, instead relying on a friction-fit, locking taper mechanism.
The implant itself is also a solid-body design, making it much stronger than common hollow implants, which can easily fracture.
Thanks to this more durable material design and lack of weak retaining screw, KAT Implants don’t fall victim to the loosening or breakage of other conventional endosteal implants.
How Do I Know If I Might Qualify for KAT Implants?
KAT Implants are one of the most effective and versatile tooth replacement options. The only cases in which we at Main Street Dental Arts don’t recommend these tooth implants is when the patient’s jawbone is inadequate—but this same restriction would apply to any implant brand.
Beyond being more durable and less prone to breakage, KAT Implants also come in shorter lengths, allowing for more of our patients to be accommodated without bone grafting or augmentation procedures.
In short, if your jaw can support an endosteal implant in the first place, you’ll benefit from KAT Implants. In terms of reliable restorative implants, these implants are actually better and less expensive than other dental implant brands favored by many Dallas-area dentists.
How They Work: Dental Implants Before and After
Interested in seeing how KAT Implants look? Here’s a before-and-after picture of dental implants done in our Waxahachie family dentistry practice:
As this before-and-after dental implant photo shows, the KAT implant fits seamlessly into the patient’s smile! While the replacement tooth looks great aesthetically, the endosteal implant itself fulfills the same role as a natural tooth root—promoting proper bone growth and overall dental health.
Ready to Learn More About the Dental Implant Procedure?
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 3 million Americans have dental implants, a number that continues to grow by half a million people every single year.
If you, like so many Americans, need to replace a missing tooth, contact us at Main Street Dentals Arts! Dr. Craig Smith has been performing dental implants in our Waxahachie clinic for decades, and we’d be happy to provide an overview of KAT Implants and what to expect in terms of dental implant cost, surgical procedures, and estimated healing timeline.
Give us a call at 972-937-1841 or send us a message to schedule a tooth implant consultation with Dr. Smith!