Dental implants provide a way of resolving the problem of missing teeth over the long-term, and it’s this very effectiveness that makes them an attractive solution. They offer many advantages over other teeth replacement methods. Despite their costliness, these operations are becoming more and more common. The following information will enable you to gain a better understanding of this effective technique for resolving problems with teeth.
Dental implant : definition
A dental implant (such as those offered by Doctor Diss) is a metal root (generally referred to as a fixture) installed under the gum by means of a surgical procedure. Once it’s been put in place, the dental surgeon in charge of the operation can then replace missing teeth by attaching crowns to the implant. Implants integrate into the bone of the jaw and play an essential role in providing a stable platform for prosthetic teeth, whether fixed or removable.
The advantage of this solution is that the implanted devices do not move around during speaking or chewing. The fact that it’s possible to place bridges between implants means the teeth end up looking more natural.
The different kinds of implants
There are several kinds of dental implants, each offering its own specific advantages, One of the options available to patients choosing to go down the implant route is the endosteal implant. Shaped like either a screw, a cylinder or a blade, these endosseous type implants take the form of a small supporting post that the dental practitioner can easily fix into the patient’s jawbone and onto which false teeth are then mounted. To reduce the risk of oxidisation and at the same time create a less reactive environment in the mouth, these types of implants are made from titanium. Though perfectly suitable for all kinds of patients, they do require excellent quality jawbone.
Because they have the ability to stimulate bone structure, this family of implants can be used for all types of dental restorations. Sitting on top of the bone this time but still placed beneath the gum, subperiosteal implants offer a viable alternative to endosteal implants. They are particularly suitable for people who have thin jaw bones incapable of supporting endosteal implants but whose gums are otherwise healthy and strong.
Dentists also offer them where patients who need teeth replacing have insufficient bone volume. Another type of implant available is the zygomatic implant. These are used in cases where patients do not have enough bone available in the jaw for the installation of endosteal implants. This is the solution specialists opt for when treating patients suffering from severe maxillary atrophy.
Dental implants can also be classified according to the materials used in their manufacture. We thus have implants made from titanium, which are particularly notable for the level of biocompatibility they offer. It’s this property that makes titanium a material of choice for dental implantology purposes. Titanium implants provide a greater level of reliability and durability.
Offering a genuine alternative to titanium, zirconia implants also possess these very same properties. However, this type of implant can be a more attractive option from an aesthetic point of view due to its white colour. Grey edges won’t appear at the bases of crowns fitted to this kind of implant, even in cases where the gums recede.
1. The surgical phase
This stage is carried out under local anaesthetic. The dental surgeon in charge of the patient makes an incision in the gum at the exact point where the dental implant is to be positioned.
Once this step is complete, a cavity is created in the alveolar bone. During this part of the process, the specialist performing the operation takes appropriate steps to avoid damaging the maxillary sinus and certain nerves. The surgical stage ends with the screwing of the implant into the bone. The dentist will be careful to ensure that the implant sits flush with the bone in which it’s embedded.
2. The osteointegration phase
This phase lasts for the period of time it takes for the dental implant to integrate into the bone. In practice, this normally means waiting between three and six months for the process to complete. This healing stage, which comes immediately after the implants have been installed, is essential not only to allow new teeth to be mounted in place but also to provide them with greater stability. During the osteointegration phase, the dental surgeon may install a temporary prosthesis for purely aesthetic reasons.
3. The prosthetic phase
As its name indicates, this stage involves the manufacture of a prosthesis by the prosthetist and the practitioner responsible for carrying out the dental implant procedure. This artificial tooth is made using moulds of the inside of the patient’s mouth. Once complete, the prosthesis will then be mounted on the implant by means of an abutment.
There is a large range of these available and they come in two main types. The first, referred to as a healing abutment, is ideally suited to surgery carried out in a single phase. The particular advantage of this solution is that the gum heals and closes around the abutment. Additionally, the osteointegration process takes place while the abutment is in the patient’s mouth.
To reduce the pressure on it to a minimum, the patient is required to exercise great care when brushing or eating meals. Dentists who perform dental implants may also use cover screws during this prosthetic reconstruction stage. These are special abutments designed for surgery carried out in two phases.
This list of the phases involved in dental implant operations, which can vary in complexity, is far from exhaustive. For example, there may be a follow-up and professional care administration phase following the prosthetic reconstruction stage. Bear in mind that the form this treatment takes depends on several factors, such as the amount of bone mass available, the patient’s state of health and various other risk factors.
As for how long the dental implant will last, this is also linked to the specifics of the operation itself, regardless of whether it involves molars or other types of teeth. Finally, it’s important to remember that a good standard of oral hygiene is essential when it comes to enjoying the benefits of this surgery over the long term.