Dental implants replace missing teeth. This can mean a single tooth, a row of teeth or all the teeth in a jaw. Whatever the case may be, with dental implants the patient gets solid new teeth. Doing implants will generally be done by a dentist who specializes in dental implant therapy. At Next Smile, we will give you all the details regarding implants.
Implants are basically artificial tooth roots. The insertion of the implant into the jaw is very carefully done and is painless for the patient. Through a process called osseointegration, the bone of the jaw grows firmly around the implant so that it serves as strong pillar for a fixed denture. Implant experts work with modern and minimally invasive procedures to gently but effectively achieve the final goal: beautiful, firm and natural-looking teeth.
Diagnosis and planning of dental implants
Successful implant therapy is based on accurate diagnostics and treatment planning, starting with an X-ray image of the jaw. The three-dimensional view of the jaw, which is digital volume tomography, or DVT for short, provides an ideal basis. This 3-D image enables realistic visualization as this advanced imaging technology provides a spatial image of all the anatomical structures of the mouth and skull.
The implants and osseointegration measures can be perfectly planned. With modern software, the dentist, often in consultation with the dental technician, first plans the implant prosthesis virtually with 3-D implant planning. Using the three-dimensional image, the patient is shown the procedure and how the final result of the implant treatment will look.
The implant body in dental implants
As implant experts, we adhere to the latest scientific standards. We work with high-quality products that have been clinically validated. Implants are made of biocompatible materials that are extremely well tolerated by the body.
Most dental implants used today are made of high-purity titanium. This material is biocompatible and through osseointegration forms a solid bond with the bone. Scientific studies have confirmed that titanium is biologically neutral in the mouth and does not trigger any allergic reactions. However, if you as a patient want metal-free implants, ceramic implants offer a good alternative. Much research has been done on this in recent years, and various good ceramic implants are currently available.
The role of bone building in dental implants
The dental implants are inserted into the jaw and the bone grows around them fixing them firmly into place. Sometimes, though, when the jawbone has shrunk, there is not enough bone to serve as an adequate ‘implant bed’. However, bone-building measures can help here. The implant expert prepares the bone in such a way that the implants will become firmly fixed. A biological or fully synthetic bone substitute material is introduced into the jaw, and the body’s own amazing remodelling abilities actually creates artificial bone which forms an ideal base for the implants. In the case of large defects in the jaw, bone block grafts can be a used. For this, a bone block, obtained from the patient’s hip region or from a 3-D printer, is grafted into the defect in a gentle procedure and fastened in place with small screws.
Other bone-building measures include bone spreading, or jaw ridge spreading, and bone splitting, or jaw ridge splitting. The resulting cavities in the jawbone are filled with bone substitute which results in sufficient bone volume both horizontally and vertically. In the upper jaw, the sinus lift, or thickening of the maxillary sinus, is a proven bone-building measure.
We strongly recommend, though, that you always get advice from a dentist specialising in dental implants, or from a dental implant expert.
Prophylaxis and aftercare of dental implants
Dental implants will give you beautiful, solid teeth. However, ongoing aftercare and prophylaxis are important so that you can enjoy them for as long as possible. Oral hygiene is absolutely essential for extending the life of your new teeth. Like natural teeth, the implants are closely connected to the body and are similarly exposed to the bacteria that live in the oral environment.
So regular cleaning and prophylaxis, both at home and at your dentist’s practice, are crucial in the proper care of your implants. Dental plaque, bacteria, and food particles can cause inflammation that can trigger peri-implantitis, the nemesis of implants. Use the same aids to care for your implants as you use for your daily oral hygiene routine for your natural teeth: a good toothbrush, dental floss or dental sticks, and small brushes for those in between spaces.