What is a dental implant?
An implant is an artificial root that is placed in the area of the missing tooth.
Thanks to implants we can restore missing teeth regardless whether it is one tooth or a group of teeth that need to be replaced.
Implants are made of titanium. Titanium is the only element that has the ability to osseointegrate - to permanently grow into the bone. This process is similar to the one that takes place when a broken bone heals.
Advantages of placing dental implants
- It is a perfect solution for restoring single teeth, as well as whole groups of missing teeth, always comfortable and esthetic
- They provide a secure and strong hold for dentures
- They eliminate the need to prep neighboring teeth
- They counteract bone loss
How exactly does implant placement work?
The doctor prepares a general treatment plan based on the patient’s needs, clinical examination, additional tests and bone measurements. After a thorough analysis of all the crucial data the patient is informed about the treatment plan.
Treatment is usually conducted in two stages: a prosthetic and surgical one.
Placing implants - surgical part
This procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia. The doctor prepares a lumen for the implant to be screwed in. Next the implant is covered by gingiva in order to support better healing. Depending on the number of placed implants the procedure takes up to two hours but may last only thirty minutes. Bone healing and implant ingrowth takes around six months. Once the implant is covered with gingiva it grows into the bone painlessly and does not pose an inconvenience in everyday activities. For the duration of the healing process the patient uses a temporary prosthetic.
After healing, the top of the implant is provided with a healing screw for several days, which puts the implant edge closer to the gingival margin. The following visit will get you closer to your dream smile. The doctor will take impressions of your mouth and the lab technician will make a crown, bridge or overdenture that will be attached to the implants. In certain clinical situations the doctor will decide to place the implant right after extracting the tooth. This minimizes healing time and positively affects the tissues surrounding the implant especially the gingiva. Regular check-ups during which the dentist will evaluate the healing process are a necessary element of treatment.
Implant restorations - prosthetic part
Further development of implant technology opened up new possibilities for prosthodontics.
Prosthodontic treatment depends on the number of missing teeth and the type of restoration that is made:
- Implant Supported Crowns,
- Implant Supported Bridges,
- Implant Suppeorted Dentures.
In favorable conditions, you can set up a temporary crown immediately after implant placement. This is particularly important in the front of the mouth where we want high aesthetics. Each time, the decision to take such steps should be made by the doctor.
Who qualifies for implant treatment?
Implants can be implanted in generally healthy adults with the right amount and quality of bone at the site of the planned placement of the implant:
- adults - such treatment is performed after the growth period has finished and the overall shape of the jaws is formed;
- generally healthy patients - the overall health has a significant impact on the success of treatment; past or present systemic diseases such as unstable diabetes, cancer, blood disorders, osteoporosis, etc. have a negative impact on the process of osseointegration (healing of the implant), and wound healing;
- a patient who possess an adequate quantity and quality of bone - normal, healthy bone tissue is a substrate for implantation, treatment success depends on its quantity and quality. Some of the problems are: disappearance of the alveolar ridge and insufficient space for placing the implant.
These problems can be solved with modern methods of surgical implantation.
Is placing implants painful?
Implant placement is carried out under local anesthesia and is therefore painless. Because of the delicacy and precision of the surgical technique its inconvenience for the patient is comparable to a surgical tooth extraction.
Can implants completely replace natural teeth?
Restorations based on implants provide a very good aesthetic effect and effective restoration of the masticatory function. It is worth remembering that the prosthesis based on implants are by far the best solution, because only they provide the patient with a permanent outcome, comfort, and are able to completely replace natural dentition.
What complications can occur after surgery?
Properly conducted implant treatment, with favorable general conditions and conditions in the patient's mouth usually does not carry any risk. Usually right after the implantation slight temporary pain and swelling of the soft tissues may appear. To prevent the occurrence of later complications, patients take antibiotics for a few days after surgery.
What is the durability of an implant?
The implant itself is indestructible. However, since the implant is placed in the living body, a part of a "foreign body reaction" depends on the overall state of the organism. Systemic diseases or addictions may have a negative impact on the effect of the therapy. The prosthetic part on the other hand is backed by a warranty. As a material element it may be subject to wear or require periodic replacement of certain parts, for example the porcelain portion.
Is oral hygiene important?
Oral hygiene plays a very important role in the success of implant treatment. If dental implants are to fulfill their role for a long time, the task of the patient is to maintain exemplary oral hygiene. This task requires self-discipline and cooperation with the doctor. It is important to avoid tobacco (at least within 48 hours after surgery), the reduction of foods which increases the accumulation of plaque. As contaminants accumulate around the implant, the accumulation of bacteria may lead to the development of infection and in extreme cases, to implant rejection. In these cases it is indicated to once again start gently brushing your teeth. Rinsing the mouth with disinfectant twice a day may also be helpful. It is important that proper oral hygiene is maintained at all times during the use of implants. This is further facilitated by regular reporting to professional tooth cleaning, often combined with a thorough check-up.
How does smoking affect implant treatment?
Smoking worsens the regenerative capacity of tissues, therefore, substantially reduces the chance of a positive outlook for long term maintenance and acceptance of the implant. Smoking increases the risk of implant rejection quadrupled. It also contributes to easier deposition of difficult to remove deposits on the teeth and restorations.