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Implantology is the dentistry specialisation
that deals with the replacement of missing teeth
WHAT IS AN IMPLANT?
An implant is an effective alternative to the root of a tooth. In fact, it’s used to replace a missing natural tooth, and can be placed in either the mandibular or maxillary bone via a simple procedure.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN IMPLANT AND A MINI IMPLANT?
A mini implant is used to mount a removable prosthesis, thus providing greater stability with respect to traditional overdentures. Mini implants are a class of implants with a reduced diameter or size; this feature allows the dentist to insert them directly through the soft tissues into the underlying bone, without making a surgical incision in the gum. In fact, this method results in considerably less post-operative discomfort for the patient.
As an added benefit, the prosthesis can usually be mounted directly onto these types of implants immediately after placement.
Implants are placed using a procedure normally performed at the dental clinic, which is performed under local anaesthesia and can last from 20 to 60 minutes. After the implant has been inserted into the bone, it can sometimes be loaded immediately. Otherwise it may be necessary to wait a few months for the osseointegration process to be completed. The abutment upon which the aesthetic crown is modelled is mounted on top of the implant.
FOR WHOM ARE IMPLANTS RECOMMENDED?
Implants are recommended for most adults. Adolescents should only have implants placed once their facial bones are fully developed, or in the case of specific orthodontic procedures. An implantology specialist should be contacted to obtain more information about the risks and benefits of the procedure, and to find out if the implants are the right solution for you. If you’re thinking about getting implants, you need to understand that it’s a serious commitment, as the success of the procedure and the duration of the implants themselves will depend heavily on scrupulous daily oral hygiene and getting regular check-ups and professional cleanings.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN REQUIREMENTS FOR GETTING IMPLANTS?
The ideal candidate for implants generally must have sufficient bone tissue, must be in good health, and must have healthy gums. However, it is the dentist’s job to determine whether implants are suitable for your case by conducting a examination, and by taking panoramic dental x-rays, creating study models, and possibly taking a CT scan. Dentalscan.
DOES LOW BONE QUANTITY ELIMINATE THE POSSIBILITY OF PLACING IMPLANTS IN ALL CASES?
No, thanks to advanced surgical techniques. In fact, in some cases sinus lift techniques can be used to increase the thickness and height of the bone prior to or during the placement of the implant. In other cases, computer-guided techniques can be used to “guide” the doctor during the surgical phase, in order to allow implants to be placed into borderline bone crests. Another approach involves the use of bone regeneration techniques, which allow the bone to grow until the volumes needed for implant placement are obtained.
Loss of teeth affects both the smile and the shape of the face, giving it a less youthful appearance. Loss of teeth can cause oral health complications that could compromise the remaining healthy teeth, as it increases the risk of losing others, alters the positioning of healthy teeth, and causes improper alignment between the upper and lower arches, which leads to muscle and joint stiffness.
The replacement of missing teeth often relieves these symptoms. It should also be noted that the absence of teeth causes a loss of bone in the jaw, because the stimulation from the action of chewing is no longer provided.
The implant pillars are made from a biomedical titanium alloy: a biocompatible material that greatly reduces the chances of any type of rejection, and bonds with the bone tissue through a process known as osseointegration. After production, the implants are subjected to mechanical or chemical processes to improve their surface characteristics and facilitate the bone cells’ adhesion, thus promoting this foreign body’s acceptance and integration within the maxillary or mandibular bones.
With proper care and good oral hygiene, implants can last a lifetime.
Although the success rate is very high (about 95%), there’s nevertheless a risk of failure during the first few months due to lack of osseointegration (implant rejection), or subsequently due to poor oral hygiene, excessive chewing force, or other causes. The main causes of failure are therefore derived from the placement of implants in unsuitable bone, or an unfavourable patient response.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MOUTH WHEN AN IMPLANT FAILS?
The loss of an implant is comparable to the extraction of a single rooted tooth (e.g an incisor), and, in most cases, does not affect the possibility of placing another implant immediately or after a healing period (2-3 months).
Implants require little maintenance, and render the patient’s smile more stable and secure. Consequently, the convenience offered by implants over the long term far exceeds that of more conventional options.
IMPLANTS OR CONVENTIONAL THERAPIES: WHICH IS THE MOST CONVENIENT OPTION OVER THE LONG TERM?
It is recommended to request a price quote from your dentist. While the cost is affected by the complexity of the specific case, it mainly depends on the number of implants, the type of prosthesis chosen, and the treatment required prior to placement. However, it will definitely be a good investment for your mouth and your smile!
Absolutely not. The placement of one or more implants has not been considered a dangerous or particularly painful procedure for a very long time, as it is done under local anaesthesia and on poorly innervated tissues. A small amount of sensitivity and discomfort may be felt for several days afterwards, which can be soothed with ice and pain-relievers. However, the pain is less severe than that following a tooth extraction.
WHAT DOES THE MOUTH LOOK LIKE DURING THE COURSE OF THE TREATMENT?
During the course of the treatment, especially during the healing period, the dentist can provide the patient with a temporary prosthesis to meet their various aesthetic and functional needs. This prosthesis is designed on a case-by-case basis, and can be fixed or removable.
WHEN WILL I GET MY NEW TEETH?
The times vary from patient to patient. A temporary prosthesis is normally used until the implant is well embedded in the bone. The dentist will provide a time estimate based on the course of therapy chosen for your case.
Whatever the case, the patient can return to work the day after the procedure, unless otherwise indicated by the dentist.
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