Why do we lose our teeth?

There could be multiple causes:

  • Advanced caries
  • Accident (fracture due to collision)
  • Inflammation of tooth-supporting tissues (periodontitis)
  • Lack of tooth germ (agenesis)
  • Systemic disease
  • Medicine, treatment

What is the best to replace the missing tooth or teeth?

The absence of teeth leads to the following consequences:

  • Bone loss (a non-stimulated bone tends to melt)
  • Movements and complications on healthy remaining teeth
  • Reduction of mastication
  • Digestion issues
  • Aesthetic damage and faces expressions modified
  • Elocution difficulties

Dental implants allow us to overcome these complications by providing an aesthetic and functional solution.

In which cases should I choose implants?

  • Replace an isolated tooth
  • Replace several teeth
  • Replace all teeth on a toothless mouth

In this case, implants are used to fix a bridge or stabilise a removable prosthesis.

What is the difference between implants and bridges?

Implantation is not the only solution, but if the conditions allow it, this is the most appropriate solution. Unlike bridgework, implant treatment does not require the use of neighbouring teeth. The adjacent healthy teeth are thus preserved because they do not have to be ground down. In addition, since the bridge does not transmit the chewing forces to the bone, bone deterioration may occur. On the other hand, the anchoring of the implant in the bone has a mechanical influence on the bone tissue, which facilitates the formation of new bone. By serving as an anchor, implants can also replace removable appliances with a fixed prosthesis.

What materials are used?

Titanium has become the material of choice due to its high strength and excellent tolerance in the body (biocompatibility).

Are there any contraindications to implant placement?

If in many cases the placement of implants is the recommended solution, there are however certain risk factors that must be taken into account. General Contraindications:

  • Patient too young (bones growth should be over)
  • Poor state of health
  • Complicated healing
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe bruxism (night grinding)*
  • Smoking, drug addiction or severe alcoholism
  • Serious pathology (cancer, AIDS, …)
  • Other diseases (heart issues, non stabilised diabetes, depression, …)

Local contraindications:

  • Poor bones or gum states
  • Lack of dental hygiene
  • Insufficient bone’s volume (bones graft could be recommended)
  • Poor bone’s quality (lack of bone’s density)
  • Anatomical obstacles (sinus or dental nerve)

The practitioner’s thorough examination will assess all these risk factors. Implants will only be considered if they are the most appropriate solution and if the chances of success are high.

Is smoking a contraindication to implant surgery?

Smoking is a relative contraindication. It is strongly recommended that you stop smoking to ensure the success of the treatment. Indeed, smoking delays tissue healing and can compromise the bone consolidation stage around the implant (“osseointegration” phase).Smoking can also shorten the life of dental implants.

Until what age can implants be placed?

There is no age limit. Any elderly person may be eligible for an implant, provided they do not have any risk factors. On the other hand, a dental implant cannot be placed on a patient who is too young (under 18 years old). It is imperative that the jaw is fully developed. A thorough examination by the practitioner will assess all risk factors. Implants will only be considered if they are the most appropriate solution and if the chances of success are high.

What is the cost of an implant treatment?

It is difficult to give a budgetary estimate knowing that the cost of an implant treatment varies according to the complexity of the clinical case (number of implants, increase in bone mass, etc.). Since costs can vary greatly from one patient to another, it is necessary to ask for an estimate prior to any treatment. The quotation can only be issued after a thorough preliminary examination. The price of dental implant placement is not fixed and depends on the fees of each dentist.

What are the success factors of implant treatment?

Requirements for successful treatment:

  • Impeccable dental hygiene
  • Practitioner expertise
  • Individual treatment
  • Monitoring and scheduled controls insured by the practitioner

What is the duration of the implant treatment?

From the preliminary examination to the placement of the prosthesis, the duration of an implant treatment can vary from 4 to 12 months. The extent of the therapy (number of implants, increase in bone mass, etc.) determines its duration.

What does the surgery involve?

The surgical phase consists of inserting the dental implants into the jawbone. It is performed under local anaesthesia and is painless.The duration of the procedure varies between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure (number and location of implants, volume of available bone, etc.).
The practitioner incises the gum and drills the bone at the site where the implant will be placed. Bone augmentation can be considered when the bone volume required for implant placement is insufficient. Once the implant is placed, the gum is closed and sutured. After the healing process (called “osseointegration”), a prosthesis will be attached to the implant.

What is the computer-assisted surgical technique?

Implant treatment has made considerable progress. Among the notable advances, the 3D representation of the patient’s jaw increases the quality of dental restorations by guaranteeing a very precise, aesthetic and personalised result. The practitioner may prefer this technology for the most complex cases.

Is the surgery painful?

As the implants are usually placed under local anaesthesia, the procedure is completely painless. Any post-operative pain can be relieved with painkillers.

How long does it take to get a new tooth?

Once the implant has been placed, it takes about 4 to 6 months before the prosthesis is put in place (interval necessary for the healing phase). During this time, a temporary tooth can be placed for aesthetic reasons (especially for visible areas).

How long does a dental implant last?

Dental implants have a long, even unlimited life span. Long-term clinical studies show that dental implants theoretically have no limited life span, provided that good oral hygiene is maintained and regular professional follow-up is provided. Poor bone preservation could shorten the life of the implants.

What precautions should be taken after the procedure?

Good oral hygiene and regular follow-up are crucial to ensure the long-term longevity of implants. Implants are more prone to infection than natural teeth if oral hygiene is poor.

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