In this article we decided to ask themselves some simple questions and answer thereto, trying to explain in detail what a dental implant is and what it is used for.
- What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium element which is used to replace a root of a lost tooth. The implant is screwed into jaw where it will act as a solid foundation for a crown or bridge or to stabilize mobile prostheses.
- What is osseointegration?
Once an implant is inserted, the surrounding bone will grow into contact with the implant surface and get attached thereto. Such process of attachment of the bone on the implant surface is called osseointegration. If osseointegration does not occur then the implant will fail and be lost.
- Why do we lose the implants?
The implants are lost most often because of:
- poor quality of implants
- mistakes of surgical protocol during the insertion of implant caused by doctor’s lack of experience
- ignoring some associated pathologies such as diabetes, hepatitis C, poor hygiene condition, presence of infected teeth in the vicinity of the implant, etc.
- What are the advantages of replacing the missing teeth with implants?
The bridges on implants give the comfort and feeling of natural teeth.
The movable prostheses stabilized on implants are more stable because they have a very good anchorage on implants. To stabilize the prosthesis, only two implants are required and the prosthesis no longer moves at all.
The insertion of implants between healthy teeth offers the great advantage of not grinding the neighboring teeth to make bridges.
- Is the titanium the only material that gets osseointegrated?
There are many materials that get osseointegrated, but the most common is the pure titanium, which also has the most scientific studies. The implants made of ceramic materials, such as zirconium oxide, have been introduced in recent years, but there are no long-term studies of their survival rate and, therefore, they are used in a limited manner, more for research.
- May I be allergic to titanium?
The allergy to titanium has been reported in rare cases, but if you still are allergic to titanium, there are other materials that can be accepted by your body, such as tantalum.
- How long do the implants last?
The implants have a high survival rate, with reports of implants that have a life of 35 years. The latest studies show that over 90% of implants inserted 10 years ago are still stable and functional.
The long-term success depends greatly on how well they are cleaned and maintained. In all cases, the recommendation is to have at least one control per year to the dentist who can do a professional cleaning. Moreover, everybody can do this at home by brushing the teeth 2 times per day.
- Do we feel differently the implants from natural teeth?
The natural teeth are surrounded by periodontal ligaments that give the sensation of pressure we feel when biting or chewing. The implants are not surrounded by ligaments and therefore the pressure sensation is not felt just like on natural teeth. The patients with implants who also have natural teeth prefer to chew on implants because the natural teeth ache, but the implants do not. Especially in case of something cold, that unpleasant sensation does not exist on implants.
- Are the implants painful?
THEY ARE NOT. Before surgery an effective local anesthesia is made that will totally numb the respective area and thus no discomfort will be felt while implants are screwed. After surgery you will feel a little local discomfort that will disappear from light analgesics such as paracetamol and Nurofen.
- What are the possible complications of dental implants?
Several complications may occur, but which can be managed by an experienced doctor:
- bone loss around the implants. The regular controls may prevent the bone loss. The doctor can identify the cause and intervene so as to stop the resorption 9reduction).
- infection around the implants caused most often by poor oral hygiene. To prevent infections, the dental implants should be cleaned professionally by a dentist, at least once a year. In case of periodontal disease, the patient must regularly come to the dentist, 3 times per year, for therapies and treatments of maintenance of affected teeth. The personal hygiene is very important.
- the implant loss may occur for various reasons such as infections, fracture of implant, absence of osseointegration. Normally, the lost implant may be replaced with a new one.
- the fracture of implant rarely occurs and is found especially in people with bruxism, unstable occlusion, incorrectly executed crowns. There have been recently met fractures of implants because of loosening of crowns and non-immediate presentation to the cabinet of patients for the re-cementation thereof. Another common cause related to fractures is the quality or doubtful (questionable) provenance of implants.
The implants are enormously used worldwide with a success rate of over 91%. The success is the result of the association between the experienced doctor (physician) and high-quality implant which has mechanical resistance guarantees, which can work in pressure over 10 years. The implants make life more beautiful and more comfortable and may be inserted from 16-18 years to 100 years.
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