A Clear Description of Dental Implants

Illustration von einem Zahnimplantat in einem Modellpsdesign1 - Fotolia

Zahnimplantat

Dental implants are made of titanium or ceramics, inserted into the bone, and assume the function of dental roots

First of all, a definition of terms: Dental implants are made of titanium or ceramics, inserted into the bone, and assume the function of dental roots. Depending on the initial condition of your teeth, one or more implants are necessary for artificial teeth.

If you do not have any natural teeth, then four implants in the lower jaw are sufficient for mounting fixed artificial teeth. Studies are currently being conducted to determine whether four implants are also sufficient in the upper jaw. To date, six implants have always been inserted in the upper jaw.

Ceramic implants still cannot be recommended broadly. These products entered the market a while ago, but there is still a lack of reliable clinical studies regarding them. Furthermore, the implant surface has to be improved.

There are many articles about dental implants on the Internet, which is why we have put together a selection of them for you.

Do teeth on implants have to be cleaned?

Teeth on implants have to be cleaned better than your own teeth. The area where the implanted teeth protrude through the gums must be kept free of infections. Otherwise there is a risk of an implant infection resulting in the loss of the implant.

Do I tolerate dental implants?

Implantations have become a common ingredient of dental surgery. Despite tremendous developments, some patients are uncertain about implants because they have read or heard about “intolerances” for dental implants made of titanium. In trade literature, no intolerance reactions against titanium are described, even though some patients do lose their implants.

What are the causes of an implant loss?

  • Insufficient cooling during the drilling of the implant shaft into the jaw bone (medical error by the doctor)
  • Insertion of the artificial dental root into a jaw bone that had already been infected (medical error by the doctor)
  • A premature, high loading of the artificial root (medical error by the doctor, error by the patient)
  • Additionally, bad aftercare and nicotine abuse promote these negative factors (error by the patient)

If an implant does not heal, what happens then?

If an implant does not heal and has to be removed, it is disappointing, for sure, but this rarely happens. Also, removal does not lead to any significant physical damage since the hole left by the implant in the bone is closed again by the formation of new bone. In most cases, a new implant is possible if requested.

Is it possible to fly with dental implants?

Many patients believe that passing through a metal detector is no longer possible due to titanium implants.  First of all, the titanium in the body does not trigger an alarm, but even if such devices should at one point enter the market, you can easily explain the alarm thanks to the implant pass.

Are dental implants the solution of my dental problems?

Many patients believe that a set of teeth that has developed in one direction (towards a full prosthesis), can be restored with implants, possibly even under full anesthesia. The most important factor in a total restoration is to change the behavior that led to toothlessness in the first place. This includes changing dentists if your old dentist did not inform you about the deterioration. It also includes changing your behavior. Otherwise, you’ll only enjoy your implants for a short time.

I would like fixed artificial teeth; how many implants do I need?

As a general rule in case of a toothless jaw, four implants in the lower jaw and six implants in the upper jaw are sufficient for fixed artificial teeth.

How long do tooth implants last?

Scientific studies in the last 25 years have shown very high success rates in patients with implants. At the present time, it is not completely foreseeable how long implants last, but after successful healing, over 90 % of implants are still in use after 10 years.

How much does an implant cost?

In Europe, a titanium implant costs between 500 and 1,700 Euro. However, the total costs are relevant for the patient (implant, abutment, and crown). Due to various structural components, these prices vary widely. Thus the total cost of an artificial tooth can range between 1,400 to 3,000 Euro. Always demand a written proposal expressly listing the total price!

Is there one single outstanding implant system or are they all equally good?

In general, the systems available on the market exhibit very little differences regarding bone healing. Of course, implant manufacturers advertise extraordinary surfaces that are supposed to achieve even quicker results in terms of bone healing, but this difference can neither be proven in practical use nor in studies. Depending on the quality of the bone, dental implants must heal for between 0 and 3 months, and in cases of bone graft surgery, a little bit longer.

However, there are differences in quality when it comes to the construction of implant crowns. The dental crown is not fixed directly on the implant, but to a transition piece called the abutment.

Usually, the abutment is plugged and screwed onto the implant. This connection shows weaknesses. Some companies promote a conical connection and not a plug connection – rightly so, as has been shown! More on that in the video "Tapered Connection".

Click here to see the video: Implant

This post is also available in: German

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