Despite more and more modern methods of treatment and better dental care, we still lose a single tooth or even several adjacent teeth. This is due to disease processes such as very advanced caries involving the roots, resorption, advanced periodontitis, complications in root canal treatment due to the complexity of the anatomical structure of the tooth. We also lose teeth as a result of mechanical injuries, e.g. in traffic accidents, doing sports. To avoid complications associated with tooth loss, it is worth replacing them as soon as possible.
The deprivation of a full dental arch of one or many teeth causes disturbances in the arrangement of the remaining teeth, their inclination, shifting, protrusion, which leads to overloading and premature wear of the teeth. Full dental arches have 28 to 32 teeth. The lack of one or more elements in the system causes the occlusal loads that occur during eating to be taken over by a smaller number of teeth, where the strength of the chewing muscles does not change. Translating it into simple language – it is harder to eat, an aesthetic defect arises, especially if it concerns a tooth visible in a smile, places after tooth loss collapse – the face ages faster. In order to prevent complications resulting from the loss of a tooth, it is most reasonable to replace it as soon as possible. The most technically advanced method is replacing the tooth with an implant. Placing a dental implant can be compared to inserting a new, artificial tooth root – if the implant quickly appears in the place of the missing tooth, it will additionally prevent bone loss that usually occurs after tooth loss. It is estimated that 60% of the bone in this place disappears 2 years after tooth extraction.
The implant resembles a single tooth root in shape. The most commonly used materials are titanium alloys, and less often zirconium oxide. A connector is attached to the implant, which imitates the tooth prepared for the crown, and a crown is put on it, i.e. the tooth that the patient sees in the oral cavity. The shape, color and function of the new tooth are the same as the natural tooth. Implants can be used to replace missing single teeth, missing several adjacent teeth, or complete dental arches. The implant can also be an element that keeps a loose classic prosthesis on the ground.
An important advantage of implant treatment, as opposed to replacing teeth with bridges based on teeth adjacent to the gap, is the lack of interference, and therefore there is no need to grind your own teeth for the bridge. Loss of any tooth involved in the construction of the bridge results in the loss of the entire bridge. In the case of an implant, this problem does not occur.
The placement of a dental implant or implants should be preceded by appropriate, thorough diagnostics. Currently, the classic two-dimensional X-ray image is rarely used. The availability of low-dose dental computed tomography gives us the opportunity to plan the procedure perfectly. We can examine the quantity and quality of the patient’s bones in all three planes. Another important issue is the patient’s health. The medical history and possible simple tests allow the patient to be qualified for the procedure. There are very few absolute contraindications to the use of implant treatment, so it can be said that anyone can have implants.
The implant procedure is short and painless. Implants integrate with the bone in 97-99%. It can be said that in medicine this is a very high percentage of success. A crown, i.e. a tooth visible in the mouth, is placed on the artificial root, which is an implant. This can be done immediately after the implant is placed, but more often we wait about 3 months. In this way, possible overloading of the newly placed implant is avoided.
For patients with bone loss after previous tooth loss, the so-called augmentation procedures that rebuild bone volume for implantological needs. Such treatments prolong the healing process, but they are very effective.
There are many implant systems on the market. The doctor’s task is to choose implants that have been on the market for a long time, give predictable results and have passed a number of preclinical and clinical tests. Reputable companies offer spare parts for their implants for many years. If a component needs to be replaced, it will be available. Quality is also the accuracy of fitting individual elements. Good matches eliminate the so-called periimplantitis – i.e. inflammation of the tissues around the implant and, as a result, bone loss.
A prerequisite is good hygiene and a healthy oral cavity. In addition, it is recommended to comply with semi-annual check-ups and periodic professional cleaning. Just as the car manufacturer adheres to service inspections, so also in the case of dental restorations, but also in the aspect of oral health, periodic examination is necessary.
Implants are long-lived restorations. In compliance with the above-mentioned assumptions, use the patient for life. In addition, the implant itself from a reputable company is covered by a good warranty. Implants are modern tooth replacements that will restore a beautiful smile to everyone.