Implants are all the rage in dentistry today. Dental Journals are full of implant this and implant that. Major manufacturers are touting the advantages of their systems and vying for market share. So what are dental implants and what do you need to know about them?
What are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants are an excellent, sometimes exclusive, way to replace missing teeth. Implants are an extremely effective method of stabilizing dentures, particularly lower dentures.
The implantation process involves placing a piece of metal into the patient’s bone. After placement, the implant is left alone for approximately six months, allowing the bone to grow around the implant. Today, almost all dental implants are made of the same material, Ti6Al4V. (Try pronouncing that one!) Ti6Al4V is a strong, aerospace alloy with the ability to “cold weld” to itself. This ability is the cornerstone of the Bicon dental implant system. In our opinion, the Bicon dental implant system is the best in the world.
The Bicon Dental Implant System
The Advantage of a Friction-Fit Design
In other dental implant systems, the post is screwed into the implant. As a result, the implant and post are threaded so they can screw together. These threads allow for gaps, however small, that provide the perfect breeding ground for colonies of bacteria.
Comparatively, Bicon implants are hollow (see image) and the post is gently driven down into the implant during implantation. This process allows the implant to form a friction fit with with the post. This friction fit is tight enough to prevent bacteria from entering the implant and forming a colony. This approach has the additional advantage of preventing the problem of screw loosening. This screw can become loose leading to loss of the implant or the bridge or attachment placed onto the post. With no screw to become loose the Bicon system avoids this problem.
With the screw system, used by non Bicon systems, loosening of the screw is a common issue. Loosening of this screw leads to the loss of a dental implant and, in some cases, loss of an entire bridge if it is attached using an implant.
Bicon has avoided this issue with their friction fit design. Because no screw system is used, and the post is held in by friction, there is little to no possibility of losing an implant due to a post becoming loose.
An Implant Case: Extraction and Immediate Implantation
Imagine your self in the position of the patient who’s X-Ray is shown at the right. His front tooth had to be extracted leaving him with a gap right in the front. His treatment alternatives were a bridge which means grinding down the teeth on either side of the gap, a removable denture (flipper or upper partial denture), an implant, or joining the staff of Hee-Ha Ranch (joke).
In his particular case, he chose to have the tooth extracted and the implant placed at the same time as the extraction, which can sometimes be done. His case was finished after four months of healing time. We have had good luck with the Bicon system in our practice, and have had several patients claim that their single implants didn’t even hurt!