With the technology and equipment moving forward in dentistry, dental implants have seen a dramatic rise in popularity, mainly thanks to their success rate and effectiveness for the patient. Many leading dentists now offer this treatment and the results are truly fantastic for anyone that needs this kind of surgery.
Dental implants are metal (Titanium) screws that can be placed in the bone and after a short healing period (depending on the local and systemic factors) a crown or bridge can be placed on the implants. There is no damage to the adjacent tooth or teeth and the procedure can be done under local anaesthesia. The postoperative pain and swelling is minimal, which means that this treatment is ideal for all kinds of people and it offers a fantastic success rate should the patient follow certain guide lines.
In the early 1960s, Branemark and co-workers at the University of Gotenborg started developing a novel implant that for clinical function depended on direct bone anchorage – termed osseointegration.
Once Osseointegration has occurred, a replacement tooth can be secured to the top of the implant.
This new tooth can look, feel and perform just like a natural tooth and it is also possible to use multiple implants to support a denture or bridge which means this treatment can be effective for more than one tooth.
The implant systems that are often uses in this practice are
- 3i, Strauman
- Astra, Nobel Biocare
- IMTEC minimplant systems.
There are a few different procedures when it comes to implants and these can usually be summed up by classing them into the below stages and categories:
Immediate restoration: A restoration inserted within 48 hours of implant placement but not in occlusion with the opposing dentition.
Immediate Loading: A restoration placed in occlusion with the opposing dentition within 48 hours of implant placement.
Conventional Loading: The prosthesis is attached in a second procedure after a healing period of 3 to 6 months.
Early Loading: A restoration in contact with the opposing dentition and placed at least 48 hours after implant placement but not later than 3 months afterward.
Delayed Loading: The prosthesis is attached in a second procedure that takes place sometime later than the conventional healing period of 3 to 6 months.
Evidence from randomised controlled trials shows increased ability to chew tough food, and increased patient satisfaction with implants in comparison to normal dentures.
There are some risk factors which can reduce the success rate of the dental implants and they can be classified as Systemic and Local factors.
There are a number of factors which can increase the success rate of the dental implants and these are:
- Type, Size or Diameter, Length, Number and Location of the implants.
- The patient not smoking
- The patient presenting good oral hygiene and plaque control
- Not being a Bruxist (Not grinding your teeth)
- Absence of peri-implantitis on review appointments (check with clinical and x-ray examinations)
Dental implants can literally change people’s lives, offering them the chance of a new smile and a new, fantastic facial enhancement. With technology improving and methods also improving rapidly, dental implants are becoming a solution for many people that can really benefit from this type of cosmetic surgery and facial rejuvenation.