Implants offer the ground-breaking solution for replacing missing teeth that people have been dreaming of since the dawn of time.
What are implants?
Dental implants are manufactured replacements of teeth that are as natural and as comfortable as normal teeth. These implants are made of titanium metal with hydroxyapatite coating which makes them biocompatible and tolerable for the body. In fact, after an implant Osseo integration occurs, which means bone tissue grows over the implant and bonds seamlessly with the surface of the implant. This makes the implant very stable and strong.
As a result, you can return to normal life and enjoy eating and smiling again.
What is the implant procedure?
Before we start implant replacement, we perform some initial assessments to ensure the right outcome of the treatment.
Firstly, we check the patient’s medical history. Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer (radiotherapy), gastric reflux, and periodontal (gum) disease can impact on the integration of the implant.
Smoking is also an important risk factor, especially during the healing phase of an implant after the surgery. Smoking can affect the vascularization of the tissue and Osseo integration of the implant.
Next we need a complete dental check-up to assess the dentition and the gingival tissue around the missing area. If there is any decay or there are tilted teeth around the missing part, these issues have to be fixed beforehand by fillings or braces. This ensures that there will be no food impaction around the implant where bacterial plaque can damage the gum. Another important factor that can affect the implant later down the line is gum disease. This could cause peri-implantitis (gum disease of the tissue, supporting the implant). This is another issue we need to fix before the surgery.
The next step is to take X-rays and 3D CT-scans to check the bone and make sure we have the right amount of bone and select the right size of implant as determined by the thickness and height of the alveolar bone.
After the initial assessment we prepare for the surgical stage which can be done under local or general anaesthesia.
During surgery we retract the gum, prepare the implant site inside the bone and install the implant. Depending on the primary stability of the implant, it can be exposed, or if the supporting tissue is not ready yet, we cover the implant with gum and wait for 2 to 6 months for the Osseo integration and then expose the implant with second-stage surgery. Sometimes we need to add some bone grafts around the implant to increase the strength of the bone.
After the implant is bonded to the jaw, we continue with the prosthetic part and take an impression to make a crown for the implant. The final stage is to attach the crown to the implant by screw or cement.
How do I maintain an implant?
It is very easy to maintain an implant. All you need to do is brush and floss the implant and rinse your mouth with non-alcoholic mouth wash. In addition, you continue your regular 6-monthly check-up