Stemmed Dental Implants: An Intriguing New Invention
If you are considering getting dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth, ask the dentist about a recent innovation known as stemmed implants. These devices offer some advantages over the conventional screw implants. Stemmed implants are not available to the public yet, but if the technology sounds intriguing to you, the dentist might be able to help you participate in a clinical trial.
About Stemmed Dental Implants
These new dental implants have two straight metal rods that are inserted into the jawbone. In contrast, conventional implants have one screw-shaped rod that is typically conical in design. That one rod is thicker than the combination of the two prongs in the stemmed implant.
Stemmed implants are already being used in orthopedic surgery, such as for knee and hip replacements.
Advantages of Stemmed Implants
The stemmed dental implant design more closely resembles the structure of actual teeth roots. Because of the two thinner rods, the dentist does not need to remove as much gum tissue and bone to implant them, making the process less invasive. The operation is faster, the jaw heals more rapidly, and the body is less likely to reject the implant as a foreign object.
Because more bone is maintained, stemmed implants are stronger in the jaw than conventional implants are. In addition, barb-style locks in the stemmed implant prongs provide additional stability. These false teeth should be able to handle more chewing force than the conventional devices. However, keep in mind that conventional implants are known for providing much better chewing force than bridges or dentures.
What You Can Do Now
If you are interested in clinical trials for these implants, ask the dentist for further information on how to become a participant. If you'd rather wait until the implants have received full regulatory approval, talk with the dentist about whether it makes sense to wait and have a fixed or removable bridge to replace missing teeth in the meantime.
Otherwise, you can choose a conventional dental implant procedure, which is generally recommended over dentures and bridges. All types of dental implant roots help maintain jaw structure and prevent it from deteriorating. Implants also are substantially more stable in the mouth than removable teeth are.
The failure rate for traditional implants -- meaning the percentage of implants that have to be removed -- is low. Research published in 2015 that reviewed a range of studies found that of some 52,000 dental implants, about 2,200 failed. That's about 4.25 percent.