What are dental implants? Are they better than bridges and crowns? When they should be done? How the Dental implant procedure looks like? Read it all here!
Dear friends and followers, today we speak about dental implants, without exception a theme number one among our patients, and with a good reason, because the modern dentistry would be unthinkable without them.
Here we are going to try to give you answers to your most frequent questions and to explain when, how and why choose a dental implant. So, let’s start!
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a titanium screw which is inserted in the alveolar bone as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. Being so deeply within a bone structure, an implant represents the most durable solution for a tooth loss.
It’s important to understand that on the top of the implant screw, after a couple of months, goes an abutment (connection between the screw and a dental crown) and a crown, made of desired material (metal ceramic or zirconium crown) in order to get a whole tooth. So, the final look of an implant is composed of three elements, as in the picture bellow:
When should dental implants be done?
Dental implants are great and unbeatable solution so far for all variations of a tooth loss: one tooth, multiple teeth and all teeth in a jaw.
Placed deep into the bone with a screw, they are far stronger and durable than bridges and prosthesis. In one tooth loss, dental implants are ideal solution, because an implant is replacing a missing tooth, while adjacent teeth won’t get drilled nor damaged, they preserve their structure intact.
In multiple teeth loss, dental implants are ideal as carriers of several teeth and, finally, in toothless patients, with a help of dental implants we create necessary conditions for circular bridge with all teeth held by implants or for stabile dental prosthesis.
Are dental implants better than bridges and crowns?
Certainly! In order to clear it up a bit, we will first explain how earlier solution worked: crowns, bridges, partial and total prosthesis. These solutions implied inclusion of adjacent teeth (left and right from the empty space of the missing tooth), drilling and “sacrificing” often completely healthy adjacent teeth. That’s not all. Thanks to the chewing process, teeth keep alveolar bone in function. When a tooth loss occurs, slowly even the bone starts to disappear because of the lack of the function. That very bone is supporting facial muscles, which, consequently, give to a face an unaesthetic, old look.
Dental implants, on the other way, behave like natural teeth as much as possible. They restore a complete aesthetic and operative function to the tooth, including an alveolar bone role and importance since they prevent its retraction. Beyond any doubt, dental implants are the best replacement so far for the tooth loss and they are unbeatable as aesthetic solution, in preserving other teeth and in giving comfort and self-confidence.
Is there a possibility of implant rejection?
Dental implants are biocompatible which means that human body accepts them extremely good and that there is no possibility of rejection. However, failure is up to 3% of cases and it is mostly caused by bad oral hygiene. There are some preconditions that should be fulfilled in order to get successful outcome guaranteed. The most important thing is that overall health condition of the patient is good, because some disorders and illnesses can have a negative impact on integration of dental implant within a bone. Once, a potential problem was insufficient height and width of the alveolar bone, but today these problems are easily resolvable with an artificial bone insertion. It is even possible to get all the work done in just one visit at our dental center. In Aponia Dental Center we perform sinus lift, bone augmentation and implant insertion in one act.
The dental implant procedure
After CBCT 3-D radiology which provides us with all necessary information about bone structure and thickness, a patient is given all necessary medication as obligatory preparation for the chirurgical intervention and the procedure of implant titanium screw insertion can take place the next day.
After a painless implant procedure, which takes about 30 minutes per implant, under a local anesthesia, the patient can go home. The next day he comes for control exam and for a next 4 month he waits for a screw to integrate with the bone structure (so-called osseointegration process). After this period, on existing screw we place an abutment and coronal part of the tooth. These interventions are painless as well. On the link bellow take look at short animated video which illustrates an implant insertion procedure:
How long does the dental implant procedure take?
It takes about half an hour per implant.
Is dental implant procedure painful?
The dental implant procedure is absolutely painless and it is done under a local anesthesia. We have to stress the importance of doctor’s expertise and competence, its gentle approach and a “gentle touch”.
Out patients at Aponia Dental Center often say that it takes less effort for implant insertion than for major cavity restoration. The very next day they are able to get back to their regular activities, mostly without any pain or swelling. The patients are given all necessary supplements and vitamins, at least 10 days before the intervention and for 3-4 months of the osseintegration process. Those supplements and vitamins reinforce a bone structure, accelerate integration of dental implant within a bone and they have a positive effect on general health condition. The analgesic therapy is given as prevention, the day after the intervention.
Who is indicated for a dental implant?
It is certainly one of the most common questions. Here we need to remind you of the fact that every patient is a case for itself. Here in Aponia Dental Center we have always nourished a personalized, individual approach to every single patient which implies a serious commitment, detailed analysis, hearing patients’ needs and finding an optimal solution with joint forces, throughout a team work. Only after all analysis had been done, we determine a suitability of the patient for the implant procedure. There is no an age limit for the intervention, except the children and teenagers still growing.
Poor general condition of the body and some diseases may be contraindicated as well as insufficient bone quantity and quality, which, in most of the cases, can be resolved with additional chirurgical intervention of artificial bone insertion.
How much does implant procedure cost? Is it expensive?
Given a solution they offer, they stability and durability, dental implants are not expensive. On today’s dental implants market, you can find various brands (Implant Direct, Nobel Biocare, BioHorizons, Straumann…) which respond to all necessary quality criteria and they have different prizes, so patient can choose in base of own possibilities. The prize depends also on final number of dental implants and can be discounted.
Artificial bone graft
Artificial bone insertion takes place in case of insufficient height and width of the bone structure where a dental implant needs to be placed. In that case, the artificial bone is placed around the implant in defect region in order to activate in couple of months a creation of the new bone permitting this way an implant insertion procedure. When mucous is separated from the bone, the artificial bone is “packed in” over the alveolar flap which is then covered with a protection membrane.
PRF treatment and dental implants
PRF treatment has become a standard procedure on occasion of dental implants intervention. it represents application of growth factor from the autologous blood of the patient, which allows a faster bone regeneration, faster soft tissue healing and, generally, faster recovery. PRF (platelet rich fibrin) is a machine for blood centrifuge, invention of famous professor Joseph Choukroun which taught in person our doctors from Aponia Dental Center.
Since it deserves a special attention because of its importance in modern dentistry, PRF treatment will be a theme in one of our future blogs.
Sinus lift is another chirurgical intervention related to the dental implants procedure. It happens often that we have a patient with insufficient bone quantity. In lateral region often happens that roots of upper teeth enter the sinus hole located behind a cheek, under the eye and above posterior teeth roots. After extraction of these teeth we usually remain with low alveolar bone width, because sinus hole tends to grow and move downwards. It compromises primary stability of an implant because the top of the implant would enter within a sinus hole instead of stabilizing within the bone. It is necessary to lift up carefully the floor of a sinus from the extraction site, elevate its membrane and packed in an artificial bone on the sinus floor. This way we reduce a sinus hole, we elevate the sinus floor and, at the same time, we get enough bone substance for further implant insertion. We usually wait from 4 to 6 months for the bone to heal completely so we can proceed with the implant insertion.
One missing tooth replacement
As we already said before, dental implants are ideal and the best solution so far in case of one tooth loss. Implant that is placed on missing tooth position “imitates” in the best way possible a natural tooth, while at the same time, it “saves” adjacent teeth since they don’t get drilled and their structure remains untouched.
Several missing teeth replacement
In this case too dental implants are great solution. The final number of implants will depend of number of missing teeth, their position in the jaw and their distribution.
Toothless jaw and dental implants
Earlier solution to a completely toothless jaw was a total acrylic prosthesis. Usually patients had difficulties to get use to wear prosthesis which are mobile, means not fixed at all within the mouth relying only on the alveolar bone and gums.
Nowadays solution lies in dental implants which permit necessary stabilization and irreplaceable sense of self-confidence in every day functions: speech, laughing, chewing, kissing…
In this case, over the implants we can put a circular fixed bridge or special prosthesis fixed with buttons which, from time to time, can be removed from cleaning and then put back again.
What are mini implants?
Mini implants are specially designed for older patients with total prosthesis which are toothless for a long time. They don’t have sufficient bone substance and their alveolar bone is already “consumed”. In case of mini implants, insertion is performed directly through the gums without elevating alveolar flap.
Mini implants are very similar to standard implants, but they have smaller diameter and length and are easier for placement which makes them ideal for this specific group of patient.
Patients with several years of experience in wearing total prosthesis, thanks to mini implants regain self-confidence and the need of checking the prosthesis position in a mouth every once in a while disappears, because it is stabile and doesn’t move.
The difference comparing to the standard dental implant lies in the abutment (element which puts together screw and dental crown) which, in the case of mini implants, has a shape of tiny ball or buttons that enter in the special hole within prosthesis. This way, prosthesis is easily removed and put back again.
The prosthesis on mini implants is different from acrylic total prosthesis since it is greatly reduced, which makes your smile even prettier and contributes to your self-confidence.
How long dental implants last?
If you ask Google, you will probably read that dental implants last forever, which means they have a lifetime guarantee. It is true, but not completely. When we talk about durability of the product itself which is made of titanium, it is obvious that it exceeds a human life, but let us not forget the fact that implant is placed in the mouth! How long will it last in your mouth depends on you and your hygiene habits. But, if your hygiene is correct and regular (especially in the implant region), with regular check-ups a lifelong guarantee is to be expected. We have to repeat that overall health condition of the patient has a strong impact on the final outcome. In cases of serious illnesses the whole body starts do decay including a bone around implant, which may provoke a loss.
Dental implants and oral hygiene
The first and crucial rule: the correct and regular hygiene is a precondition of implant durability and maintenance!
We have spoken a lot about dental hygiene importance as one of the key factors of your dental health, and indirectly, of the health of the entire body. One of our last blogs was entirely dedicated to this subject. “Cleanliness is next to godliness” and that’s true, for dental implants too. You have to pay special attention to regular and proper hygiene of teeth and whole oral cavity, with particular regard to the implant zones. Parodonthopaty as a “poor hygiene disease” can severely compromise durability and persistence of implant in a jaw.
Along with regular everyday’s hygiene (we strongly recommend you Swiss Curaprox toothbrush) a use of interdental toothbrush is indispensable because can penetrate deeply between teeth. Regular check-ups at your dentist are crucial as well. Your teeth need constant care.
Aponia Dental Center recommends a Waterpik irrigator for a domestic use for all family members.
Dental implants and postoperative tips
We already saw that implant insertion procedure is painless, but few hours after the intervention you can feel pain that is easily resolvable with common pain killers (Rapidol S, Ibuprofen, NOT Aspirin because it may reinforce bleeding).
You must not rinse your mouth on the day of the intervention. A slight bleeding in the next 2-3 days is normal. If the bleeding is heavy, you should immediately see your dentist.
The oral hygiene is normal, you should only take care not to hurt the intervention wound.
The swelling may occur after the intervention. It is not unusual and it is not dangerous, if you comply to the advices we give you, it is reduced to the minimum. You can put ice packs on the outside of your face over the area where your surgery was performed and hold it for about 20 minutes with pauses of 10 minutes. Avoid hot drinks. Eat soft food on the first day. Avoid grains which can end up in the extraction wound. Avoid smoking (and sucking a straw) at least 3-4 hours after the intervention, or until the bleeding completely stops.
In postoperative period of osseointegration avoid strong physical efforts (gym, running, diving, extreme sports…).
That would be all for now…We know this blog is pretty long, but we hope that we cleared up a little bit an implant issue.
We are here for you, as always.
Aponia Dental Center