Basic Information about Implants
For many of us losing our teeth is a trauma. We are unable to chew properly, articulate or smile unselfconsciously and we feel uncomfortable in company.
We should, however, have the missing teeth replaced as soon as possible, because in addition to the unpleasantness experienced, in time the lack of teeth can lead to more serious problems, such as worsening nutrition, stomach problems, difficulties with digestion and damage to the jaw bone joints. Due to the loss of the teeth and bones the teeth may move to the side, which can cause an alteration to our features.
Many people, however, find it difficult to accept the idea of having partial or full, fixed or removable false teeth. For them an implant can be the ideal solution.
Although an implant is not cheap and involves a certain risk, we have had favourable feedback from our patients, who said they were relieved not to have to use removable false teeth and experienced a significant improvement in the quality of their lives. Furthermore, after positive experiences with this technique, many dentists have now enthusiastically embraced it and the use of implants has become a routine procedure in dental practices.
What is an implant?
An implant is an artificial root of a tooth, which is surgically implanted in the place where the teeth have been lost. The false tooth that will be attached to the implant is as strong and as functional as if it had been made for a natural tooth. It is more natural than any other type of tooth replacement, making you feel as if you had got your own strong, healthy teeth back.
Who is suitable for implants?
Those patients are suitable for implants who are in a good general state of health, have good oral hygiene and sufficient bone matter and there is nothing that might exclude them. Last but not least, they should be willing to follow the instructions given them by their dentist with regard to oral hygiene.
Who is unsuitable for implants?
A successful outcome is at increased risk for patients who consume too much alcohol, are heavy smokers, have a drug addiction, untreated diabetes or have serious heart and circulation problems. Implants cannot be carried out on patients whose jaw bones have not finished growing (children 14-18)
The success rate of implant operations is 90-95 %. In a very few rare cases, however, the jawbone doesn`t fuse with the implant and the implant becomes loose.
If this is the case, the loose implant must be removed and replaced with another one.
Following the oral hygiene instructions is indispensable for long-term success. Although implants are more strongly attached to the bone than natural teeth, they are more weakly attached to the gums. As a consequence poor oral hygiene can cause greater harm around the implant than otherwise might be the case. However, if the patient follows the instructions the implant could last all their life.
The advantages of an implant tooth replacement
Using implants allows us to replace single teeth without damaging adjacent healthy teeth, which sometimes happens in the preparation for crowns or bridges . With the help of implants we can use a fixed tooth replacement, in other words a bridge, in those cases which in the past traditional dentistry could only treat using the technique of removable false teeth. Implanted teeth are more convenient, more natural and are easier to deal with.
When all the teeth are missing, a fixed replacement, complete bridge or a combined replacement can be achieved with the help of 4-8 implants. Implants ensure greater stability and allow the patient to chew better; furthermore they provide a feeling of confidence and a perfect appearance. Another of their advantages is that they prevent the normally unavoidable bone loss.
All these effects together improve the patient’s quality of life.
A successful implant operation
An implant operation can be considered successful if there is no pain or inflammation around the implant and it doesn’t move. Furthermore, if an X-ray shows no bone loss and the patient does not experience the implant as a foreign body An implant operation can only be considered to be truly successful if it is so in the long-term and this can be said of 90-95% of such operations. Nowadays the number of cases unsuccessfully treated is very small, since even when – for whatever reason – the first operation fails, it can be repeated successfully.
In the light of the above we can say that an unsuccessful implant operation is very rare.