A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is inserted into the jawbone. It is typically made of titanium and used in dentistry to support single or several tooth replacements.
The most common dental implants in use today are the endosteal dental implants, i.e. root-shaped dental implants very similar to the real tooth root that are placed into the bone.
The jawbone accepts the titanium dental implant allowing for the osseointegration process or bone integration that refers to the connection between the dental implant surface and the surrounding bone. Dental implants are then integrated into the bones and are used to support numerous dental restorations, including dental implant-supported crowns, bridges or dentures. They can also be used as a support for orthodontic tooth movement. The use of dental implants enables unidirectional tooth movement without a reciprocal action on other teeth (also applied in orthodontics).
Dental implants are the best and most convenient solution to tooth loss.
They represent the optimal solution for therapeutic, medical, as well as for aesthetic purposes.
Dental implants provide patients with a secure, comfortable fit that looks and feels like natural teeth.
We use dental implants made of titanium, a material that is easily accepted by the human body, and they are surgically embedded into the jaw in place of a missing tooth. Following the period of dental implant integration, superstructures are placed on the dental implant to hold crowns and bridges.
Since dental implants are the size of a natural tooth root they feel natural and comfortable and do not interfere with speaking and eating.
What is the success rate of dental implant placement?
Clinical studies confirm that the success rate of dental implant placement is 90-100% at 10 year follow-up. The small percentage of failure usually occurs immediately after the treatment due to various factors. If the patient adheres to the dentist’s advice and maintains adequate oral hygiene, a well-integrated dental implant has an excellent prognosis.
How long does the entire procedure take?
It takes only a few days from the first consultation to the first surgical procedure, and another two to three months until the dental implant is fully integrated into the bone. This period may be longer (6-9 months) depending on the overall state of the jawbone, bite strength etc..
However, it should be noted that with the constant advancement of the dental implant placement methods and systems, this period is getting shorter.
What problems may affect a successful dental implant placement?
Insufficient bone quantity and quality may be a contraindication for dental implant placement.
In such cases, additional surgical procedure – bone grafting (augmentation) is applied to replace the missing bone.
Also, poor general health, as well as patients in whom it is impossible to establish adequate oral hygiene, may jeopardize the success of dental implant treatment recovery.
Bone grafting (ridge augmentation)
The loss of bone after tooth extraction, inflammation or trauma does not mean that dental implant placement cannot be performed. To achieve optimal results in terms of both function and aesthetics, it is sometimes necessary to carry out an oral surgical procedure of artificial bone augmentation before or during the dental implant placement.
The quantity of bone that is augmented must be sufficient to support the dental implant so that, in terms of statics, it would be able to withstand chewing forces.
There are various bone grafting techniques, but the most important factor is the choice of bone material. It can be an autologous bone or materials of animal origin from specialized laboratories. Indications are given for each patient, but the goal is always the same - to obtain a high-quality bone suitable for successful dental implantation.
Are dental implants more expensive than dentures?
Even though the price of dental implant placement may seem high at first, they provide a permanent solution and are thus a more cost-effective option than other types of dentures.
Can elderly patients get dental implants?
Of course! Dental implant placement is recommended to younger patients as the best solution mainly due to the good condition of the jawbone where the dental implant is placed. However, if the dentist decides that the surgery can be performed on elderly patients, dental implants are recommended and can safely be placed.
Does dental implants contain harmful metals?
No. Dental implants are made of titanium, are extremely bio-compatible and are not harmful to the human body.
What happens after the surgery?
After the surgery, a patient will experience a feeling of numbness and mild pain at the site where the dental implant was inserted. Also, the swelling may cause temporary numbness affecting the jaw and lips. These symptoms are common and will disappear after a few days. If the symptoms persist, consult a doctor.
Is the dental implant placement procedure painful?
The surgery is performed under local anesthesia and it is, therefore, completely painless. After the procedure and when the anesthetic effect fades, a patient may feel mild pain for which appropriate pain relief medication will be prescribed.
The basic procedures
Before surgery, detailed and careful planning is necessary to determine the vital structures such as the lower alveolar nerve or sinus, as well as the shape and dimensions of the bone so that the implant can be properly oriented to provide the best result. It is customary that before the surgery 2D radiographic images such as orthopantomograph or retroalveolar images are made, along with the 3D imagining with CBTC technology.
Once the plan of dental implant placement is made based on the X-ray viewing, a surgical dental implant placement may begin, whereby a single or several dental implants are inserted during one visit (the procedure is painless) and the tissue membrane is stitched over the dental implant. The dental implant remains covered with the tissue membrane until the osseointegration process is complete, which takes about 2-3 months, depending on the case.
3.Dental implant opening
From the moment of dental implant placement to its opening or removal of the surface gingiva layer covering the dental implant, the dental implant cannot be seen (except on the X-ray). At this stage, a thin layer of gingiva is removed and gingiva former is placed to shape the gums to achieve the look of a natural tooth when making the prosthetic part.
4.Making the prosthetic part
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants have the same strength and chewing force as natural teeth
Chewing force provided by dentures is only 1/20 of the force provided by natural teeth. In contrast, dental implants enable us to chew, even solid food, as powerfully as with natural teeth.
They feel like natural teeth
Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth.
Protection of the surrounding teeth
Dental implants are placed in the missing tooth cavity, which protects the surrounding healthy teeth from grinding.
Discomfort of wearing dentures is avoided
By placing dental implants, the discomfort of wearing dentures is avoided, as well as bad breath and other associated side effects.
Comfort of natural tooth
The dental implant serves as a permanent solution and provides comfort of a natural tooth because it is attached to the jawbone.
Dental implants keep the jawbone healthy
Wearing dentures for a long period leads to jawbone resorption, which does not occur with dental implants.
Enjoyment of food
Dental implants allow you to fully feel the structure and taste of food, like with natural teeth.
Dental implants increase the stability of complete dentures.
Complete dentures can be totally dental implant supported, which prevents them from moving and slipping.