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What is osseointegration?

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What is osseointegration?
The term refers to the direct structural and functional connection between living bone and the surface of a load-bearing artificial implant. Osseointegration has enhanced the science of medical bone and joint replacement techniques.

Osseointegration is also defined as : "the formation of a direct interface between an implant and bone, without intervening soft tissue". Applied to oral implantology, this thus refers to bone grown right up to the implant surface without interposed soft tissue layer.

Osseointegration may also be defined as :
The process and resultant apparent direct connection of the endogenous material surface and the host bone tissues without intervening connective tissue.

The interface between alloplastic material and bone.
For osseointegrated Dental implants, metallic, ceramic, and polymeric materials have been used, in particular titanium. When osseointegration occurs, the implant is tightly held in place by the bone. The process typically takes several weeks or months to occur. First evidence of integration occurs after a few weeks, while more robust connection is progressively effected over the next months or years.Though the osseointegrated interface becomes resistant to external shocks over time, it may be damaged by prolonged adverse stimuli and overload, which may result in implant failure.

Other complications may arise even in the absence of external impact. One issue is the growing of cement. In normal cases, the absence of cementum on the implant surface prevents the attachment of collagen fibers. This is normally the case due to the absence of cementum progenitor cells in the area receiving the implant. However, when such cells are present, cement may form on or around the implant surface, and a functional collagen attachment may attach to it.

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