A dental implant is a certain kind of screw made of titanium which is simply and virtually painlessly implanted in the jaw. If the condition of the jaw permits it, implantation is performed by using a technique called “flapless” that is entirely painless. This means a complete replacement of the missing root of the tooth with a suitable implant. After the procedure, it takes some time until the implant grows in on the surrounding bone tissue. The process is called osseointegration, and the time required for its completion is in average between 3 and 6 months. After this period, the implant becomes a strong and reliable carrier of the prosthetic restoration.
Implantology and its limits
When it comes to the successfulness of implantology, the results are encouraging. However, there are still cases when it is not applicable. The most common causes of unsuccessful therapy are various chronic diseases, such as advanced osteoporosis, different systemic diseases, neglected diabetes etc. When there is a missing jaw bone, or due to lack of space involving the maxillary sinus, it is often necessary to perform a minor surgical intervention – “the sinus lift”, to correct the height of the bone so that the implant could be successfully placed. A fragment of bone or bone block is sometimes added, and this is called augmentation. Due to local anaesthesia, all of these treatments are performed without any pain.
Medical side-effects when applying implantology
There is a whole range of factors that limit the use of implantology and make the procedure impossible to perform. Whether or not these prevent the procedure or simply lead to unwanted complications, dentists must approach this problem with great responsibility and professionalism. What medicine identifies as limiting factors are:
- disrupted bone mass metabolism due to use of medicaments
- poorly treated diabetes
- weakened immune system due to various factors
- cardio-vascular conditions that significantly affect the health
- chronic disease of connective and bone tissue (e.g. rheumatism)
- different kinds of mental diseases
Guarantees that a dentist can provide to active smokers are greatly limited when it comes to effective implantation.
Local side-effects that a dentist can eliminate are:
- inadequate or insufficient bone volume – augmentation treatment or crown lengthening is necessary
- inadequate or insufficient bone quality – implantation treatment makes the bone denser
- jaw bones diseases – local treatment of the affected spot with proper methods
- improper bite that causes insufficient room for crowns
- excessive grinding of the teeth (bruxism) – proper splint therapy
- jaw development in progress (growth and development of the jaw last until the age of 21 in boys) – wait until the jaw growth is completed to start therapy
Apart from the abovementioned elements, an entire host of unfavourable local, anatomic or biological factors may influence implantology therapy. In most cases these do not exclude placing of implants, but they do require specific approach by the dentist, as well as taking special precautions in their maintenance. Professional and high-quality examination and condition analysis are vital and key to determining the stage of treatment and course of implant placement.
Advantages of implants
Basic elements that represent advantages provided by implantology may be:
- prevention of bone mass loss,
- extension of healthy teeth life time by removing the pressure and mechanical damages,
- excellent substitute for a lost tooth,
- nowadays, the procedure is performed routinely and the risk of complications is minimal,
- high-quality materials provide high levels of biocompatibility,
- economic therapy due to long-term effects and solution to problems with no special further interventions.