According to the 1988 National Institute of Health Consensus, in America, it has been estimated that 42% of the population over 65 years of age and 4% of those 35 to 64 years of age are totally edentulous. The same report suggests that the number of dentists who use implants in their practices has increased 10-fold between 1983 and 1987. Dental implants, have therefore proven to be a reliable tooth replacement alternative to that of traditional prostheses. These developments have been largely contributed by Branemark et al and Schroeder et al, who demonstrated a predictable tissue healing result with direct bone-implant contacts when specific crieteria regarding choice of materials and clinical procedures were observed. The development of dynamic functioning interfaces of implants to bone, epithelium, and connective tissues is important for long-term success of implant-supported dental prostheses (FIG 1). A knowledge of basic histology and implant biocompatibility characteristics will not only enhance our ability to choose the right implant systems, but will also increase implant integration capability and further increase long-term implant success.
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Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
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