A dental implant is an artificial replacement of the tooth root that is anchored to a pre-drilled hole in the jaw-bone to hold a crown, bridge or full bridge or denture on implants in place. Dental implants are made of titanium, a material that is well tolerated by the human body and easily integrates with bone tissue.
Dental implants typically have three parts;
1) The implant: A screw that serves as a root for your new teeth. This is what permanently attaches to your jaw.
2) The abutment: A permanent, but removable by your doctor, connector that supports and holds a tooth or set of teeth.
3) The crown (or prosthetic tooth): This is the part of the tooth that you can see. It’s usually made of zirconium or porcelain for durability and good looks.
When placing an implant, the oral surgeon achieves a close contact between the surface of the implant and the tissue of the jaw-bone. With time the implant integrates with the jaw-bone, creating a solid and durable support for the tooth replacement. If there is a need for the replacement of more than one tooth an implant supported bridge or a full denture is built on the implants.
In some cases when there is not enough jaw bone to support an implant, sinus lift or bone grafting needs to be prepared.
Dental implants will enable you to eat, chew, talk, smile, laugh confidently, so much that you will even forget that your teeth are not naturally yours.
Consultation and planning
During the first consultation our surgeon or dental implant specialist evaluates the panoramic X-ray and consult with the patient. If the patient’s general condition and bone tissue are found to make the implant procedure possible, a customized personal treatment plan is prepared. The dentist may order additional examinations or request a CT scan if necessary to check bone mass.
During painless implantation procedure implant is placed in the jaw bone. After the surgical procedure is performed according to the protocol, the patient is given advice and instructions for the healing period. If no sufficient bone tissue is available for implantation, a special surgical procedure called bone augmentation or bone graft is provided to replace missing bone tissue.
During the next 3-6 months after implantation, the implant heals under the gum, i.e. the implant integrates in the jaw bone. During this period the patient has to maintain perfect oral hygiene and take medications as instructed.
After healing period the final restoration is built on the implant or implants. There are many types of restoration on implants from simple solutions (single crown on one implant or bridge on two implants) to full restorations (full bridge on 6-8 implants, All-on-4 fixed dentures).
The long-term success of the implant and the artificial tooth built on it cannot be guaranteed without careful oral hygiene; therefore, it is very important that the patient maintains, and improves if necessary, his or her oral hygiene. After the prosthetic procedure, patients have a check-up examination at least every year to check oral hygiene and the function and stability of the implant.