General Instructions for Dental Implants
Dental implants offer an immediate and permanent solution in cases where the lack of natural tooth roots prohibits the placement of fixed prosthetics such as bridges and dentures. Unlike dental bridges, which cause problems in the oral cavity and, in some cases, do not fully fit, dental implants replace lost teeth or those that have been damaged in the best and most aesthetic way. They are artificial teeth that are identical in appearance and function to natural teeth and replace the natural tooth roots with artificial ones. They are made of titanium.
Dental implants: Who are the Candidates
In terms of which patients are suitable for the placement of dental implants, it is worth mentioning that over 95% of people who wish to undergo this procedure are suitable candidates. In any case, the following conditions must apply:
- Not be able or willing to have dentures or bridges placed.
- You must not have any health problems that affect bone healing.
- You must have healthy oral tissues.
- Have lost one or more teeth.
- Have completed growth of the bones in your jaws.
- Have sufficient bone to place a dental implant or be able to regenerate using bone grafts.
- Have a desire to improve your ability to chew and speak, as well as improve your facial aesthetics.
Dental implants: Definitive Solution with the Highest Success Rates and the Longest Duration in Time
Tooth implants are the ideal definitive solution to the problem of total/partial tooth loss or destruction. According to the American Society of Implantology, 98% of patients enjoy the success of the procedure for a period of five years, and 82-95% for a period of fifteen years. Oral health care, smoking, inadequate cleaning, and lack of detailed surgical planning are some of the factors that contribute to tooth implant failure and complications.
However, the skilled and experienced Maxillofacial Surgeon Konstantinos Psomaderis conducts the surgery and guides the patient in such a way that a definitive and long-term result is achieved.
Dental Implants: Treatment Planning
The process of finding the right and experienced Dental Surgeon is not easy. Research is required since the correct selection is vital for the successful, safe placement of dental implants. The great experience of the dental surgeon is not directly related to the quality of the dental implants he uses. Even a doctor with little experience may use high quality implants in an inefficient way. Another key parameter is the difference between a dentist and a Dental Surgeon, as the latter is more specialized in dental implants. Specialized and modern techniques, combined with years of experience and the selection of high quality materials are the main ingredients that will make your smile shine again.
The doctors involved in the surgery are, foremost, the Oral Surgeon, who specializes in jaw, facial and oral issues. The Oral Surgeon is an expert implant surgeon who has had long term studies, without relying solely on general knowledge and seminars. Then there is the periodontist, the specialist in tissue treatment, and the prosthodontist, who is responsible for the design and fitting of artificial teeth onto dental implants.
Dental Implants: The Placement Process
In between the steps that are followed for the process of placing dental implants, there is always a healing period, always with the patient’s safety in mind.
Stage 1: Surgical Intervention
At this stage, the damaged teeth are removed first, if they are present. Next, the procedure involves bone grafts that are used to prepare the jaw bone. The dental implant is then placed and the soft tissues of the area are shaped through augmentation or enhancement.
Then, the dental surgeon and his or her skilled medical associates proceed to place a special prosthetic appliance on the new implant, where the artificial tooth will be fixed. The stage is completed with the prosthetic work, i.e. the construction and placement of the artificial tooth.
The duration of this procedure is a few days to a few months, depending on the needs of the individual patient. Of course, some steps can be merged, and a significant part of this time is devoted to the development of the new bone in the jaw.
During the surgery, the oral surgeon makes a small incision in the gums to expose the bone, and special equipment is used to prepare a special well in the bone in the area. Next, a dental implant, which plays the role of the tooth root, is placed into the jawbone. At this stage, a gap will be created where the natural tooth is missing, and so, for aesthetic reasons, a type of partial or temporary denture is often placed, which is removed if necessary for cleaning or during sleep.
Stage 2: Prosthodontic Αbutment
Once the osseointegration is complete, depending on the patient’s needs, surgery may be required to place a prosthetic abutment over which the socket will be added. The operation is minor and is performed under general anaesthesia.
Initially, a small incision is made in the gums by the Oral Surgeon in order to expose the dental implant. Next, the healing abutment is connected to the implant and finally, the gums in the area begin to form and heal around the healing abutment.
It is possible that the abutment placement can be performed at the same time as the surgical implant placement, and therefore no additional surgery is required. There is a two-week period after the abutment placement during which the gums heal in order to subsequently connect the prosthetic abutment to the artificial tooth.
Stage 3: Selection and Placement of New Teeth
After the gums have completely healed, impressions are taken, and then used to build the socket for the artificial tooth. Of course, the jawbone must be strong in order for the placement to be done properly. The patient chooses the artificial teeth in collaboration with the oral surgeon. These teeth can be either removable, fixed – stationary, or both.
As far as removable teeth are concerned, the prosthetic work is similar to tthe well known removable denture. Whether partial or total, it can be removed in an easy way by the patient in order to clean it. Fixed teeth have a permanent and stable screw of the artificial tooth on the prosthetic abutment. They cannot be removed by the patient in order to clean them or during sleep.
Tooth Implants: Complications After Placement
Initially, complications and side effects after the placement are minimal. The typical side effects associated with dental implant placement are swelling of the gums and face, bruising of the skin and gums, minor bleeding in some cases, and tooth implant pain at the implant site, which can be treated in most cases with medication. If any of the symptoms are too persistent or worsen, the patient should definitely contact the Oral Surgeon. Finally, during the period that the treatment lasts, the patient should eat soft foods.
Dental implants: Benefits and Disadvantages
Initially, the benefits of surgical placement of dental implants include the following:
- They stand the test of time, as unlike natural teeth, they do not wear out.
- They completely replace the missing tooth roots.
- They are identical to natural teeth, so it is not noticeable that they are artificial teeth.
- They do not cause damage to the bones because they do not move, unlike bridges that are supported by tooth roots.
- They have an excellent fit, unlike bridges.
- They increase self-esteem because the appearance of the mouth is restored to its original form.
- They improve speech and chewing, as well as the overall aesthetics of the patient’s appearance.
- They create a feeling of security for the patient, as they do not move out of position during speech.
- They do not grind the adjacent teeth, unlike bridges.
- They do not damage the jaw or wear out due to the nature of the material they are made of, unlike natural teeth.
- They do not need to be removed like mobile dentures, so discomfort is eliminated.
- They relieve the patient from repeated visits to the dentist, with the financial and psychological benefits that entail, as they are indestructible, unlike natural teeth.
Considering the advantages and benefits of dental implants, it becomes apparent that there undoubtedly are no disadvantages. It’s the most appropriate and direct solution. Finally, it guarantees a safe and permanent result. Dental implants are superior to any other prosthetic work proposed for tooth loss or destruction, and the experience and training of our medical staff guarantee a lasting smile that shines.