What are dental implants?

Dental insurance

Dental implants are a solution to replace missing teeth. An implant is a titanium screw that is inserted into the maxillary bone, on which crowns or prostheses will later be placed that replaces the lost tooth in appearance and functionality. 

95% of the implants are made of titanium because it is a biocompatible material that allows osseointegration, that is, fusion with the bone. Although there are no known reports of patients having an allergy or reaction to titanium, some people with allergies to other metals are reluctant to use titanium in their implants. As an alternative, there are zirconium implants that are not as versatile as titanium ones as they are made in a single piece instead of two like titanium ones. 

What types of implants are there at Dental?

To replace the functionality and appearance of the tooth, they are used; prostheses in the case of several absences of contiguous teeth, or crowns if the absence is for a dental piece, which is placed on the implant.

Types of dental prosthetics on implants.

  • Removable prosthesis on implants (mucous-supported prosthesis). They are also placed on the implants, with the difference that the patient can remove them for cleaning and sanitizing. They are usually placed on totally edentulous patients.
  • Fixed prosthetics on implants. They are placed directly on the implants and are usually made of porcelain, which gives them an appearance exactly like a natural tooth. They do not need to be removed for cleaning and do not move when chewing or eating.

Types of dental crowns on implants.

There are two types of crowns for implants according to the material they are made of:

Metal-porcelain crown

Its interior is made of metal and is covered with porcelain to imitate natural teeth, but they have little translucency due to their core. If receding gums occur, a small metallic arch can be seen at the edge. These crowns are recommended for teeth located in the back of the mouth and are more economical.

zirconium crown

It is made entirely of zirconium, 100% biocompatible, offering a more aesthetic result, as they are translucent, closely resembling natural teeth. They are the most common for implants in the frontal positions of the mouth and are more expensive.

Advantages of dental implants

People who decide to have dental implants to recover missing teeth have multiple benefits, both practical and aesthetic. By having all the teeth again, movements and gestures are performed normally when eating, speaking, and smiling that improve both aesthetics and physical and mental health.

Among its advantages, the following stand out:

  • Recover the full functionality of the mouth┬áby having all the teeth.
  • Speak and pronounce without difficulties, since the tongue will be able to move naturally.
  • Chew correctly, without having to think about that tooth you’ve lost.
  • Improve digestion, by re-chewing food properly.
  • Recover the smile, without fear of missing a tooth, which also improves self-esteem.

Advantages over other treatments such as removable prostheses

  • They are more comfortable. Being fixed, the implants do not need to be fixed with adhesive or removed to clean them at night as is the case with removable prostheses.
  • Greater durability. With good care, dental implants last for many years.
  • Greater flavor in food. Dental implants do not cover the palate, as is the case with some removable prostheses, so the sense of taste is increased.
  • Better fixing. By fusing with the bone, dental implants do not run the risk of moving, shifting, or falling during use, so the patient can eat any food without fear of falling.
Phases of dental implant treatment

Dental implant treatment takes place in several phases:

1. Implant study. A personalized evaluation of the case is carried out, in which aspects such as the bite and the shape of the mouth are studied. X-rays are necessary and may include 3D scans or computerized axial tomography (CAT). This assessment helps to correctly position the implant in the bone.

2. Placement of dental implants. The surgical procedure begins by applying anesthesia in the indicated area. With the anesthetized area, the hole where the implant will be placed is prepared by means of a sequence of drills that are introduced from smallest to largest. Once done, the implant will be placed and, if necessary, the wound will be closed with stitches.

3. Integration of the implant with the bone and tissues. After the surgical procedure, the fusion of the titanium implant with the bone requires 2 to 6 months. Once merged, definitive rehabilitation can be placed on them.

4.  Placement of dental prostheses. Once the implant has been perfectly integrated, impressions will be taken to fabricate the new teeth. Tests are carried out to ensure the aesthetics and functionality of the new pieces and they are placed cemented or screwed to the implant.

5. Download ferrule recommendation. To protect both implants and porcelain prostheses from wear, the use of an offloading splint is recommended. The implants do not have a periodontal ligament, so they do not allow the dumping of chewing forces, and the prostheses can be overloaded. On the other hand, porcelain is more fragile than dental enamel, so it must be protected even more.

6.  Maintenance and hygiene. Once the process is done, it will be important to maintain daily oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing. Finally, it will be necessary to regularly visit the dentist and the hygienist, to ensure that the operation has been positive and that the implant is stable, as well as the crowns or prostheses that have been placed on it.

By aamritri

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