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What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. Your dentist places them directly into your jawbone, where they provide an artificial replacement for the root of your missing tooth or teeth. They can support crowns or dentures, in a similar way that roots support natural teeth. Having missing teeth can really knock your confidence, as well as affect the way you eat and speak. Dental implants offer a long-lasting and discreet choice of treatment for replacing teeth.

Step By Step Procedure

To start an implant a procedure is needed to be able to place an implant fixture into your bone.

Screw-retained post is then secured directly onto the implant fixture with an abutment screw.

Essentially achieve this. The procedure is like securing the tree in place with tree trunks. This post is the trunk which is the foundation of fusing everything else into place

The abutment, also known hood of the post is prepared and screwed into place

A crown, also known as a cap, is then prepared and sent to a specialist lab.

The last stage is to then cement the crown onto the implant to protect but also create a tooth-like appearance.

Dental implants preserve your facial structure.

Implants transmit chewing forces to the jaw bone. This is not the case if teeth are missing or when a conventional prosthesis has been put in place. If these forces cease, the bone may slowly recede and the shape of the face may change over time.

Dental implants maintain your smile.

Functionality and visual appearance go together: an implant-borne restoration looks like a natural tooth – there is simply no visible difference, and special care is not required.

You can feel more comfortable talking, smiling and eating.

With dental implants, palatal plates required with conventional dentures are not necessary. You will feel more comfortable talking, smiling and eating.

Your teeth don’t have to be ground down.

With a conventional bridge, the healthy neighbouring teeth to the right and left of the missing tooth have to be ground down to support the bridge. When using an implant to close the gap, the neighbouring teeth are not affected and the natural tooth substance remains intact.

FAQs

Contrary to what you might think, conventional dentures are not always cost-effective. The initial layout for dental implant treatment varies on how many implants are needed and if bone augmentation is required. Other factors include the surgery itself, lab work, the prosthesis, and the dentist’s and dental technician’s fees. A cost plan will be developed only when all of these aspects have been addressed, and in some cases, dental implants may be more economical in the long term.

Implant therapy is not an experimental approach; rather it is a well-proven, state-of-the-art medical dental technique that has been scientifically tested and used for decades by dentists and surgeons worldwide. Depending on the condition of each patient, potential risk factors may vary. Bad oral hygiene or limited healing of the wound due to pre-existing medical conditions (for example diabetes and osteoporosis) may reduce the odds of the implant remaining in place. Since every surgical procedure carries potential risks, your dentist will evaluate whether dental implants are the option for you.

Dental implants are generally inserted under local anesthetic to help minimize discomfort during the operation. Patients experiencing any doubts about the condition of the implant site after the procedure should make sure to consult a dentist.

It is possible to insert implants as soon as the jaw has stopped growing. Therefore, in young patients, dental implants can only be placed once their jaw bones are fully developed. At the other end of the spectrum, there is no age limit, given of course that the patient does not display any significant medical risk factors. This will be evaluated by the dentist.

After insertion of your implant, the bonding process (osseointegration) takes about 6-8 weeks. In this time, the implant reaches the stability needed for it to bear weight like a natural tooth. As always, healing times can vary depending on the individual condition and indication.

Long-term surveys have shown that Straumann® Implants have very high survival rates.* Patients can count on reliable solutions as Straumann makes no compromises on quality. According to a survey carried out with 10,000 patients in Germany**, 66 percent of those questioned were “extremely happy” with their implant-supported restorations and 31% were “happy.” Of patients with conventional restorations, only 42% claimed to be “extremely happy” while 44% said they were “generally happy”.

* Blanes RJ, Bernard JP, Blanes ZM, Belser UC. A 10-year prospective study of ITI dental implants placed in the posterior region. I: Clinical and radiographic results. Clin Oral Implants Res 2007; 18:699-706 ** Riegl Survey 6

Impeccable oral hygiene is vital before an implant can be placed. After insertion, teeth need to be carefully looked after, irrespective of whether they are real or artificial. Diligent oral hygiene helps to ensure satisfactory results.

Titanium is a biocompatible metal. This means it is non-toxic and well-tolerated by the body. Implants made from titanium bond very well to living bone and have been used for decades in the medical device industry. To this day, there has been no documented case of an allergic reaction to titanium. Because of these attributes, titanium dental implants can last for decades. If you are looking for a metal-free alternative, there are options with ceramic implants. They are made from high-strength ceramic and designed to achieve maximum functional and esthetic demands. In cases of thin or recessed gums, the implant will not shimmer through as it has the color of a natural tooth.

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