Dental implants represent most advanced long-term solution for missing teeth. They are screw shaped posts of various sizes and lengths, that have a continuous thread that goes around them in screw-like pattern. Made out of biocompatible material in a purpose of reducing a chance of rejection, usually titanium or ceramics. Implant’s surface is coated with small particles in a way that they attract bone cells insuring better connection with the surrounding tissue.
Single implant acts like a replacement for one tooth, while multiple implants can replace a segment or even a whole dental array. Other than teeth replacement in prosthodontics purposes, they can also be used as anchor points in orthodontics dentistry. Implants provide great benefits to teeth and facial reconstruction but they are widely used in many aspects of reconstructive medicine as well. Implant size depends on the amount of bone in designated placement region and their intended function.
Implants are surgically placed into the bone, not very complicated and painless procedure. It’s not important how much time has passed since teeth have been lost, implants can be placed even in the same visit as extraction.
Before actual procedure is done, it needs some careful planning. There can be situations where implant placement cannot be performed at first, because some work needs to be done prior to make it possible for placing an actual implant. Those procedures are making sure that not only placement is achieved, but other than restoring a tooth, bone and gums around it are restored as well. They include: sinus lift, bone augmentation and ridge leveling.
Bone augmentation is a surgical procedure of adding artificial bone onto the remaining jaw in purpose of making enough amount of jaw bone for implant to be placed successfully. Sinus lift has the same outcome as bone augmentation does. The difference being that artificial bone now is added under maxillary sinus in order to physically lift up the sinus floor thus providing enough amount of bone for implant to be planted.
Sometimes, when patients have been missing teeth for a longer period of time, their residual jaw bone reduces. Resorption patterns occur in that way the ridge becomes crested, making it impractical to place implants. Therefore oral surgeon “sculpts” the residual ridge in purpose of making a better fit.
Procedure of implant placement is practically painless and it takes oral or maxillofacial surgent to perform it. Under direct eye supervision, implant is “screwed” carefully into designated place and it’s left to heal for some months. Healing time usually takes about 3 to 6 months, and during that time bone cells will form closely to implant, and clasp it in position. After healing time has passed, implant can be loaded. Dental laboratory provides with crown/bridge which are cemented or screwed, restoring missing tooth/teeth. Implants as a solution for missing teeth operates in a way that one implant can replace single tooth, while 2 implants can replace more than 2 teeth in a form of bridge, depending on the layout. It is important to emphasize that bridge cannot be combined between implants and natural teeth.
Mini dental implants, as the name says, are smaller sized implants used for stabilization of dentures. They are used in patients with reduced amount of jaw bone that are not susceptible for jaw bone augmentation. Their placement is just under the gums or few millimeters into bone.
Mini implants are utilized in orthopedic dentistry as well, as anchor points for applying forces on teeth. Zygomatic implants are rarely mentioned alternative to “traditional” implants in dentistry. In cases when upper jaw bone level is reduced to minimum, placing implants in cheekbone represent a very viable solution. They are saving patients from going through a great deal of surgery in purpose of upper jaw implant placement, such as bone grafting, augmentation and sinus lift.
Implants are very beneficial for oral and general health as they provide restoring effect as close to natural teeth as it gets. They don’t anchor and overload adjacent teeth like bridges do, making gum receding impossible. Very easy to clean and maintain, with great longevity and aesthetic, making them the best solution in prosthetics dentistry.