Dental implants are titanium pegs (screws) that are surgically placed into the jaw bone. They are used as base carriers for future prosthetic constructions (crowns and bridges). The implant is firmly placed into the bone with a special procedure and a crown is placed on top of it. Therefore, the patient receives an artificial tooth identical to the natural one. The implants can replace one tooth, several or all the teeth in the mouth. They are used as foundations for solo crowns and fixed bridges.
Dental implants are mechanically inserted into the bone, which is connected with the implants by osseointegration. This is a natural process through which the bone tissue fuses with the implant and recognizes it as its own. Fixing the implant this way, a very firm base for placing artificial teeth is obtained. With the implants and bridges above them, the patient completely regains normal chewing, swallowing and speaking functions, the physiognomy of the face is regained and the aesthetics of natural teeth is achieved. Implantation is a routine procedure that is painless, the patients accept it easily and there are almost no serious postoperative complications.)
Dental implants are a very successful way of replacing missing teeth because of their integration with the bone, which is a natural process where the bone tissue fuses with the implant and it is practically planted into the bone. Therefore, a very solid base for placing an artificial tooth is formed, that allows normal chewing and speaking.
The new technique of virtual surgery and bone enhancement or compensation of the atrophic parts of the jaw completely neutralizes the advantages that the bridge technique previously had. The titanium posts with spiral surface firmly anchor the artificial tooth root in one of the jaws that contains empty spaces for placing teeth and therefore the durability of the implanted tooth is very high. The studies show that the probability for the implant and the crown/bridge to last 10 years is 97%, while a crown placed on a scraped tooth lasts 10 years in 87% of the cases.
How does a missing tooth affect the bone?
- All teeth are in place
- A missing tooth leads to movement of the adjacent teeth and loss of bone tissue
- The bone beneath the missing tooth melts away and leaves a visible defect
- All teeth are present in the lower jaw
- The bone starts to resorb at the place of the missing tooth
- The loss of bone over time might be significant
- All teeth are present in the lower jaw
- Complete toothlessness leads to a reduction of the jaw
- Significant reduction of the jaws leads to a collapse of the facial muscles
If there is bone tissue missing, what happens when the jaw starts thinning due to lack of teeth? The condition becomes complicated, but it can be solved by taking a bone graft or adding an artificial bone and placing it where the bone is missing like the past when talking about chewing solid foods with missing teeth or weak bridges was considered taboo, placing implants as a replacement of the missing teeth today is a status symbol.
Because of the relatively low costs, the placement of bridges is considered today a standard therapy. However, the adjacent teeth, even completely healthy teeth, have to be scrapped. For one missing tooth to be placed, the dentist has to scrape two healthy teeth. This is opposite to the experts’ rule which states that the highest goal in dentistry is to keep the teeth healthy. Every fight is worthwhile even for only one tooth. There is no load on the jaw at the place of the missing tooth and it atrophies.
Aging effects are very obvious when, because of loss of bone mass in the jaws, the lips become thinner and tighter and the chin shifts forward.
The procedure of implanting only one tooth is pretty simple. For starters, an x-ray diagnosis is needed. Before the dentist makes a decision to do an implantation, diagnostic procedures are taken: models, x-rays… The x-ray shows whether there’s enough space for the implant, whether the bone is thick and solid enough and whether there is a need for a bone graft. A CT scan might be needed for making a better decision on positioning the implant.
The implantation surgery is performed in the dental clinic under local anesthesia. The procedure consists of cutting and lifting the gingiva and exposing the bone. A hole is carefully carved out at a particular place of the bone, that precisely matches the length and diameter of the implant’s body. After the implant is placed, the gingival tissue is stitched (put in place, repositioned) around the implant. The patients adapt very well to the intervention and the postoperative difficulties are insignificant.
- Mobile partial prosthesis
- Fixed dental bridge
- Crown over an implant
- Partial prosthesis
- Fixed dental bridge (the abutment teeth are prepared for placement of the bridge)
- Fixed bridge over an implant
- Mobile total prosthesis
- Total prosthesis over an implant
- Fixed circular bridge over implants that replaces all of the missing teeth