Natural teeth consist of the crown and the root. The crown is the visible section that is covered with white enamel. Supporting the crown is the tooth root which extends into the jawbone. The root is the part of the tooth that is effectively replaced by an implant. A dental implant is therefore a prosthetic root that supports a prosthetic crown.
The edentulous patient can also benefit from dental implants. In order to replace missing teeth with bone loss, a prosthesis (denture) is needed which also has a proportion of artificial gums, usually made of pink acrylic or porcelain. Implant based dentures can be made that are held in place with a press-stud type or bar attachments making them removable for cleaning. Alternatively small hidden screws may fix the dental prosthesis in place.
Craniofacial prostheses are artificial substitutes for facial defects. The breakthrough for rehabilitation of facial defects with implant-retained prostheses came with the development of the modern silicones and bone anchorage. These implant retained prosthesis restores the dignity of cancer survivors and burn victims that lost their ears, noses or eyes.
The implants are made from ASTM-F67-95 Grade 4 pure titanium, with a tensile strength of 550 Mpa. The surface is enhanced with abrasion and chemical conditioning. The titanium is bio-compatible and offers strength and durability as well as a unique property of fusing directly to bone - the process known as osseointegration.