Dental implants and what you didn’t know about them
Aesthetic and healthy teeth are an asset in our society and increase one’s self-confidence. However, an incomplete set of teeth is not just an aesthetic problem. It is also associated with health problems. As soon as you undergo the extraction (pulling) of a tooth, or it falls out itself, unwanted changes occur in the oral cavity, the dental arch, and the bones in the place of the missing tooth. The teeth adjacent to a gap tend to move towards and over time descend into it. The opposing teeth tend to grow out behind occlusal line over time, because they lack sufficient back-pressure when biting. On the bone under the missing tooth, bone loss – or atrophy – occurs as a result of reduced stress. However, a missing tooth also affects your ability to consume food or affects your articulation. These constraints may result in an uneven load on the teeth and, in particular cases of missing teeth (for example, long-term missing teeth in the back of the dental arch), can also cause jaw-cheek deformation. The solution is dental substitutes, including dental implants.
What is a dental implant and what’s the procedure?
Dental implants are actually substitutes for the missing tooth root. They are used in cases when there is not enough tooth root in the jaw bone, or when the tooth root is not usable as a supporting element for dentures. Dental implants look like little special screws that can shrink and heal with the surrounding bone when implanted into the bone. They are mostly made of titanium. Being in the jaw bone, this 'artificial tooth root' is largely invisible. After the application of the dental implants, only the covering screw may protrude from the gum, forming the gum into the required shape and covering the entrance to the internal thread of the implant into which the dental crown is screwed (it can also serve as a pillar to which a dental bridge is attached). A dental crown is actually the visible part of the artificial tooth, which after its placement serves as a functional and aesthetic replacement of the missing one. Such a dental prosthesis solution can be considered permanent and more hygienic than a dental bridge.
What is the procedure for dental implants?
The overall procedure of examinations, the treatment itself, and the subsequent procedure is relatively simple – especially in cases where the patient has enough bone and there is no need for bone extensions. Read the steps or watch the video below.
First examination - the patient comes for a comprehensive clinical examination, which usually includes a panoramic x-ray and a CT (three-dimensional x-ray). Here, the patient's health condition and the bone quality under the missing tooth are comprehensively verified.
Dental hygiene - in the Dental Hygiene Department, the patient's teeth are freed of soft and solid impurities, i.e. the removal of plaque, tartar and possible pigmentation. This is done by means of ultrasound, manual mechanical cleaning, and subsequent airflow and fluoridation.
Surgical implantation of dental implants - during the procedure, the implants are inserted into the patient’s jaw bone. It is a small and painless surgical procedure usually performed under local anaesthesia. The patient feels only moderate pressure. General anaesthesia is available if more teeth are being replaced.
Resting and eating - two or three days after the procedure, the patient’s swelling recedes (a cold compress helps). In minor interventions, the patient does not experience any swelling at all. There is no need to worry, as it is only a slight swelling. The patient may also experience some sensitivity at the implant site, which gradually lessens. It should completely disappear after 7-10 days. Eating during this time is limited (mushy meals are preferable).
Removal of stitches - about a week after the implant procedure, the stitches are removed in the second session.
Healing phase - the healing period before taking the tooth prints is approximately 6 weeks. During the healing period, the missing tooth can be sometimes immediately replaced by a temporary crown, dental bridge or a removable denture.
Taking a tooth print for the tooth crown - after the healing phase, the patient comes for a check up on the healing process with the help of another x-ray image, and if everything is satisfactory we take the jaw and teeth impressions, on the basis of which the final dental crown is produced. The final dental restoration is made by a professional dental technician (this takes several days.)
Placing the final dental crown on the dental implants - one week after the teeth impressions, the final dental crown is screwed in, where it is fully functional and aesthetically replaces your tooth. If necessary, it can be easily and painlessly unscrewed, adjusted and then replaced.
Regular dental check-ups - regular dental check-ups are necessary after the crown has been fitted on the dental implants. During these checks, we focus on the state and eventual development of the dental bite and chewing, and we also check the state of the dental hygiene.
Dental implants procedure (video):
FAQs about dental implants
Dental implants - durability
How long do dental implants last? The material of the crown resists the mechanical and chemical stresses of the oral cavity very well. In the event of damage to the crown, it can be replaced. Therefore, the life of the crown can be extended. Also, remember that good dental hygiene is essential, and this is doubly true for dental implants. Do not allow the crown to become clogged and avoid the formation of tartar by thorough dental hygiene with a toothbrush, flossing and interdental brushes. Tartar causes gingivitis and other related problems. As for the lifespan of the implant, its titanium does not deteriorate, but the implant can 'throw' away. This happens mostly in the healing phase after the implant’s insertion in about 1-1.5% of cases. It’s no problem – the body can regenerate such a bone defect and the bone grows back. Subsequently, the dental implants can be re-applied in a relatively short time with a high percentage of success. The average lifespan of dental implants varies from person to person depending on the care, but up to 90% of dental implants are in perfect condition even after 10 years. With proper care and healthy bones, they commonly last until the end of the recipient’s life.
The dental implant’s lifespan is influenced by proper adherence to dental hygiene and regular dental checks. In this way, you can extend the life of your dental implants to the end of your life. Although they are no longer affected by tooth decay, they are not maintenance-free teeth.
Dental implant healing
Dental implants healing depends on several factors. The main roles are played by the patient’s health, the quality of the bone in which the dental implant is inserted, and the type of implant. On average, however, complete healing of dental implants takes from six weeks to six months. Nonetheless, it should be noted that with a temporary dental restoration, you can use your teeth just several hours after the placement. With the final dental crown, healing occurs around six weeks after the implantation.
Dental implants and pain?
Do dental implants cause pain? Well...yes. However, it is rather a mild pain that lasts just a few days after the procedure. After the first week, only the stitches will remind you.
Pain after the dental implants have healed is not common, and should therefore be dealt with by a dentist. This may be the result of poor dental hygiene at home.
Dental implant prices
Many variables play a role in the application of dental implants. These include the patient's health, residual bone and teeth, etc. The price is therefore easiest to determine after a personal consultation, or even more precisely after an examination using a panoramic x-ray, which tells us the aforementioned factors. By establishing your health status, solutions to your issue can then be found. In principle, however, we can compare the price of uncomplicated dental implants into a healthy bone with the price of a classical dental bridge, which is approximately EUR 560. You can find more information about costs on the price list.
Is a dental implant suitable for you?
Osteoporosis, diabetes and other chronic diseases - many self-reported sources mistakenly state that dental implants cannot be implanted in patients that suffer from osteoporosis, diabetes, or other chronic diseases. Such statements are misleading. If these diseases are properly treated and stabilised, dental implants can be used with comparable success rates for healthy individuals.
Heavy smokers - smoking can be a risk because it interferes with the long-term stability of dental implants. However, this can be reduced by alternative means.
Chronic or acute oral inflammation - in the presence of acute but mainly chronic oral inflammation, it is not possible or appropriate to introduce dental implants. (For example, with unstable periodontitis, poorly treated teeth, etc.) First, the reason for the inflammation should be removed, then the disease should be stabilised, and only then is it possible to consider a further procedure.
Dental implants are suitable for any patient whose current health status so permits. This condition must be assessed by the attending dentist. That is why pre-surgical examinations and consultations are very important. Learn more by calling us or via email.
Is it better to have a dental implant or a dental bridge?
In terms of the cost, people often deal with the dilemma of whether dental implants or a dental bridge is better. The easiest solution would be to compare the main advantages and disadvantages of a dental bridge and dental implants.
Advantages of dental implants:
High aesthetics – it looks like a real tooth
Replaces both the crown and tooth root
During convalescence, there is no problem with eating and biting
Independent from load-bearing teeth
Does not burden the load-bearing teeth
Easier dental hygiene than for a dental bridge
Does not destroy healthy teeth due to their preparation
Potential solution when replacing all teeth
Disadvantages of dental implants:
Higher price when replacing more teeth
Surgery is required
Interested in learning more about dental implants? Do so by phone or mail.
Advantages of dental bridges:
Do not interfere with the bone
May be used after radiotherapy and chemotherapy, if implants are contraindicated
Lower price when replacing more teeth, which may not pay off
Disadvantages of dental bridges:
Unsafe for healthy supporting teeth (they must be ground)
Close up, a dental bridge does not look natural and aesthetic
Only replaces the tooth crown
Possible impaired articulation
Limited applicability when replacing large numbers of teeth