What is the dental implant?

A dental implant is a titanium screw with different shapes and morphologies of the surface, which replaces a missing dental unit.

The indications of the dental implant are:

  • Replacing one or more missing teeth without affecting the remaining bordering teeth;
  • Supporting the construction of bridges, eliminating the need  for removable partial dentures;
  • Supporting construction for total mobile dentures, causing them to become more stable and comfortable;

Under local anaesthesia, the surgeon makes an incision in the gum, removes it from the jawbone, makes a small hole in the bone and inserts the implant. Subsequently he covers the gum with the removed implant and applies suture wires in several points to achieve gum healing and the isolation of the operating field from  bacterial attack.

Implants are left as such inside the bone for a while (average of six months) to achieve the process called osseointegration. After this period, prosthetic restoration with implants is done, thus getting back the missing teeth.

Advantages of the dental implant:

  • Improving the physiognomic appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. They are designed to fuse with the bone so they become permanent.
  • Improved speech comfort. Restoration with implants eliminates the discomfort given by the feeling of mobility of total dentures, resulting in improved comfort. As they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort given by removable dentures.
  • Mastication is improved. Dental implants function as your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favourite foods with confidence and without pain.
  • Increasing the confidence of the patient. Dental implants can give back your smile and help you feel better in your own skin.
  • Improving oral health. Dental implants do not require sacrificing other teeth, as in the case of the dental bridge. Individual implants also allow easier access for interdental hygiene. In the long term these aspects determine the improvement of oral health.
  • Durability. Implants are extremely durable and will last many years. With care, many implants can last a lifetime.

What is the success rate of the dental implant?

In general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care (see below), implants can last a lifetime.

Who are the candidates for dental implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery workmanship can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and sufficient bone to support the implant. They also need to maintain good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders – such as diabetes or heart disease – or  patients who have had radiotherapy to the head / neck should be assessed on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are suitable for you.

How painful is the operation of inserting the dental implant?

Most people who received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anaesthesia is used during the procedure, and most patients report that the insertion of implants involves less pain than a tooth extraction. After inserting the dental implant, slight pain can be treated with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicine.

How to take care of dental implants?

Dental implants require the same care as natural teeth, including brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups.