Frequently-asked questions about implants
There can be multiple causes:
- Progressed tooth decay
- Accident (fracture following impact)
- Inflammation of the tooth’s supporting tissue (periodontitis)
- Absence of the tooth’s germ (agenesis)
- Systemic disease
- Medicines, treatment
The absence of teeth leads to the following consequences:
- Bone loss (non-stimulated bone has a tendency to decrease)
- Possible complications and shifting at the level of the remaining healthy teeth
- Decrease in the chewing function
- Digestive problems
- Aesthetic damage and change in facial expressions
- Speech difficulties
Dental implants help to remedy these complications by bringing an aesthetic and functional solution.
Implant treatment makes it possible to:
- replace an isolated tooth
- replace several teeth
- replace all teeth on a jaw that is completely toothless.
In this case, the implants accommodate the securing of a bridge or to stabilise removable dentures.
The insertion of an implant is not a must-have solution, but if the conditions allow for it, it is the solution to favour. Contrary to the insertion of a bridge, an implant treatment does not require the support of neighbouring teeth. The neighbouring healthy teeth are thus preserved because they are not ground down.
Furthermore, as the bridge does not transfer chewing forces to the bone, a deterioration of the bone may occur.
On the other hand, anchoring the implant into the bone has a mechanical influence on the bone tissue, which facilitates the formation of new bone.
By serving as an anchor, the implants also make it possible to replace removable devices with a stationary prosthesis.
Titanium has in most cases become the reference material, due to its high resistance and its excellent tolerance in the body (biocompatibility).
If in many cases the insertion of implants is the solution to recommend, there are, however, certain risk factors to consider:
- Patient too young (bone growth must be completed)
- Poor general state of health
- Difficult healing
- Severe bruxism (teeth-grinding at night)
- Smoking, substance abuse, or severe alcoholism
- Severe illnesses (cancer, AIDS diagnosed, etc.)
- Other illnesses (heart problems, unstabilised diabetes, depression, etc.)
- Poor condition of the bone or gums
- Insufficient oral-dental hygiene
- Insufficient bone volume (a bone graft may be recommended)
- Poor bone quality (insufficient bone density) Presence of anatomical obstacles (sinus or dental nerve).
The thorough examination performed by the practitioner allows for the evaluation of all of these risk factors. The insertion of implants will not be envisaged unless this is the most appropriate solution and if the chances of success are high.
Smoking is a relative contraindication. It is highly recommended to stop smoking in order to ensure the treatment’s success.
Indeed, smoking delays the healing of tissue and may compromise the bone consolidation step around the implant (“osseointegration” phase).
Smoking may also shorten the lifecycle of the dental implants.
There are no age limits. Any elderly person can receive a dental implant, provided that there are no risk factors. However, a dental implant cannot be inserted for a patient who is too young (under the age of eighteen years approximately). It is essential that the jaw is fully developed.
It is difficult to give a budget estimate, knowing that the cost of an implant treatment varies according to the complexity of the clinical case (number of implants, increase of the bone mass, etc.). Since the fees can vary greatly from one patient to another, an estimate should always be requested prior to treatment.
The estimate can only be issued following a thorough preliminary examination.
The cost of inserting a dental implant is not set and depends on the fees of each dentist. Dental implants are not reimbursed by Social Security because they are considered to be prostheses that are “outside the nomenclature” (HN (hors nomenclature [outside the nomenclature])). Some mutual funds propose the coverage of dental implants (enquire beforehand on the waiting time inherent to certain dental flat rates).
However, the prosthesis on implant may be partially reimbursed by social security because it benefits from a coding.
Conditions to meet before ensuring the success of a treatment:
- Irreproachable oral-dental hygiene
- Competence and expertise of the practitioner
- Individual treatment of each patient by the practitioner
- Follow-up and regular check-ups ensured by the practitioner.
Similar for all surgical procedures, a success rate of 100% does not exist. However, the failure rate is very low.
The reliability of the current implant treatments thus no longer needs to be proven. Success depends on several criteria: the bone quality, the surgeon’s expertise, the absence of risk factors, the patient’s oral-dental hygiene and professional follow-up.
From the preliminary examination to the insertion of the prosthesis, the duration of an implant treatment can vary from four to twelve months.
The scope of the treatment (number of implants, increase in the bone mass, etc.) determines its duration.
The surgical phase consists of inserting dental implants into the maxillary bone. It is practised under local anaesthesia and is painless.
The duration of the procedure varies between thirty minutes and two hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure (number and location of implants, bone volume available, etc.).
The practitioner makes an incision in the gums and drills the bone on the site intended to receive the implant. An increase in the bone mass can be envisaged when the bone volume required for inserting the implant is insufficient. Once the implant is inserted, the gums are closed up and sutured. After the healing period (called “osseointegration”), a prosthesis will be secured on the implant.
Implant treatments have undergone considerable progress. Among the notable progresses, 3D representation of the patient’s jaw increases the quality of dental restorations by ensuring a very accurate, aesthetic and customised result. The practitioner can favour this technology for the most complex cases.
The insertion of implants is generally performed under local anaesthesia and the procedure is completely painless.
Potential post-operative pain can be alleviated with painkillers.
Once the implant is inserted, it will take approximately two to three months before placing the prosthesis (required period of time for the healing phase).
During this period of time, a temporary tooth can be placed for aesthetic reasons (particularly for visible areas).
Dental implants have a long lifecycle, even unlimited. Clinical studies conducted for the long term certify that dental implants theoretically do not have a limited lifecycle, provided that good oral-dental hygiene is adhered to and that regular follow-ups with a healthcare professional are ensured.
Only a poor state of the bone’s preservation can reduce the lifecycle of an implant.
Good oral-dental hygiene as well as regular follow-ups are essential for ensuring the longevity of the implants in the long term. In the case of insufficient oral hygiene, the implants are more subject to infections than natural teeth.
Manufactured by: Biotech Dental.