Facial Titanium Implants — What’s Next?
Dental Implants Outside of the Mouth
I was first introduced to the use of dental implants outside of the mouth in the middle 1980s. This was recognized early on as a great use for this technology. The method of dental implants has been shown to be a safe and predictable method to restore facial defects. (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 70:1551-1557, 2012). Dental and facial implants are basically cylindrical anchors made of titanium alloy which heals in the bone and we attach teeth or prostheses to them.
Most of the time, in the mouth, it is a tooth crown that is attached to the dental implant. We do, however, use them regularly in the mouth for other types of attachments such as snap attachments to hold dentures in place. If you were a missing a portion of your facial structure, such as if lost in an accident or from disease (like cancer); dental implants can be placed in the facial skeleton and used to secure a prosthetic device which fills out the defect. The dental implants have snap-like attachments on them which the prosthetic facial part attaches to. Makeup is often used to blend from the natural structure to the artificial structure. I have even seen them used on the skull to secure a toupee.
Implants For the Future
I envision the use of titanium implants, such as dental implants, in the skull to house electronic devices such as implanted hearing devices. I even imagine the placement of an implant disc behind the ear to contain communication devices such as our phone or phone receiver. Sound transmission would come from the device right to the ear. Wireless monitoring devices such as continuous heart monitoring or blood sugar monitoring (as examples) could be housed in skeletal implant devices. Sounds crazy, but I am certain it will be here sooner than we think.
Affordable Dental Implants
For a consultation, call Wagner Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Specialists at (262) 634-4646 today! We will take excellent care of you.
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