Dental implants: dental replacement that holds!

Dental implants are fixed artificial teeth, which replace missing teeth. They are inserted directly into the jawbone and fit seamlessly into the existing dentition. They have significant advantages over the non-fixed, false teeth or bridge structures, which have to be attached to healthy teeth.

For whom are implants?

In general,  implants are suitable for anyone who has lost one, several or even all their teeth. A further use is for patients with prostheses, as the prosthesis benefits from the support and stability of adjacent implants. Other applications are found for large tooth gaps or when the row of teeth is too short.

What are dental implants and how are they used?

Procedure for the loss of a single tooth

A dental implant consists of an artificial root, which looks like a screw with a thread. It is screwed into the jawbone by the dentist. On it’s tip is a visible false tooth made of metal ceramic/full ceramic or zirconium. This is connected via an internal thread to the artificial tooth root. For the screw we use tested, tissue-compatible titanium. Titanium is biocompatible, i.e. it is tolerated by the body without causing allergic reactions or rejection by other organs. This material has been used in orthopedics for many decades. It allows the bone to grow onto the surface of the screw with no layer in-between. This is a process also known as osseointegration.

The tooth tip or superstructure is the visible part of the false tooth. It fits perfectly into the existing dentition, both in form and color and feels completely natural.

Only a minor, local anesthesia is necessary to keep the procedure painless for the insertion of the implant. It is followed by a healing and integration phase, in which the implant firmly grows together with the bone. This can take from three months in the upper jaw to six months in the lower jaw. After that your new tooth is ready for biting and chewing.

If a single tooth is lost an implant is certainly the best choice, since neighboring teeth stay protected. Initially, a single-tooth, base implant is put in the place of the lost tooth’s root, under the mucous membrane, without the crown, for a healing phase of usually a few weeks. This space receives no pressure from biting during this time and the patient wears a temporary denture that is fixed or removable. The permanent crown is placed after that.

For non-surgical solutions, the lost tooth is replaced with a fixed bridge. However, this may create unnecessary pressure on the adjacent teeth and can lead to damage such as secondary caries or root canal treatment. An implant bypasses the bridge issue. Note that it is best placed between 6-8 weeks after tooth loss.

The so-called immediate implant is sometimes an option when a tooth is taken out in the dentist’s office. The implant can then be inserted right after the extraction, provided the tooth shows no inflammation and the jawbone is healthy. This shortens healing time, counteracts shrinkage of tissue and saves the patient an additional treatment. However, this is rarely the method of choice, since extraction holes don’t tend to match the circumference of the available implants.

Procedure in case of loss of several or all teeth

Building up of the jawbone – How and why?

In case of multiple missing teeth or loss of all teeth, implants can be used to stabilize protheses. This is often necessary after complications with full dentures, eg. bad maintenance, reduced chewing efficiency, bone loss or wrinkles around the mouth. The implants allow the firm grip of a prosthesis and thus prevent even local bone loss. Chewing strength is greatly improved and the bite height is maintained for a longer time, which also counteracts the formation of folds and wrinkles around the  mouth.

Dental implants in conjunction with pressure attachments or other anchoring systems provide a stable, secure hold and improve the way you feel about yourself. The number of implants required depends on the size of the bridge or denture and also on whether the upper or lower jaw is affected.

If the jawbone has regressed due to prolonged non-use – for example, when a tooth gap or even the toothless jaw is not or only insufficiently provided with artificial teeth for a longer duration, the height or the width of the bone is no longer sufficient for an immediate implantation. The bone mass must first be augmented, so the implant will find enough holding material and thus can perfectly merge with the bone.

This process, called bone augmentation, is achieved by the use of autologous (from the same individual) bone or bone substitute materials. The natural bone is allowed to accumulate onto a matrix form. Once the required thickness and stability is achieved, the implant may be applied.

Success and Failure

Cost of Dental Implants

Dental implants today have a very good long-term prognosis: About 95% of dental implants placed by experienced dentists, perform even after more than ten years of implementation. This percentage speaks for itself. Nevertheless, there can be occasional failures, where implants may be lost or cause an inflammation (peri-implantitis). Risk factors for the failure of an implant are noted particularly with poor oral hygiene, heavy smoking, autoimmune diseases or severe bone loss of the jawbone. Excessive stress on the jawbone or a bacterial infection are two common reasons for implant loss. Regular dental check-ups and conscientious daily oral hygiene are still the best advice for the long-term success of a dental implant.

Tooth loss and the resulting gaps between teeth is an unpleasant situation. We believe anyone should have access to a remedial solution with a stable and cost-effective dental implant. Therefore, our goal is to provide you with convenient dental implants that are of the highest quality, yet remain affordable. We promise to work with efficiency and orient ourselves to the latest developments in dental medicine.