Dental implants are an already proven method for replacing missing teeth or even building a whole new smile. And if before they were less known, now they are a common choice of both dental professionals and patients. Here are the biggest benefits of implants.
What do we need to know about dental implants?
Did you know that nearly 2.3% of the world’s population suffers from complete tooth loss, and statistics for Bulgaria show that over 750,000 Bulgarians do not have a single tooth in their mouth? 18-year-olds in Bulgaria have an average of 6 caries and 1 permanent tooth extracted, and in the age group from 35 to 44 the number of missing teeth increases to 6. Whether due to poor hygiene, root disease, genetic predisposition, or accident, the loss of teeth often affects a person physically and mentally.
So it’s no wonder that more and more people looking for a lasting solution to deal with the lack of one or more of their teeth are finding it in dental implants. According to the patient’s health and how suitable it is for the procedure, recent studies in the field show over 95% success rate of implants compared to other traditional dental solutions (Dental Economics).
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small metal screw that surgically attaches to the jaw and replaces the roots of one or more missing teeth. Once it is well attached and it has become a solid foundation, beautiful healthy teeth can be built on the implant. This can be a crown if it replaces a single tooth, a bridge for several teeth, or a denture for more missing teeth. The implant is not visible, and the structure built on it is made as close as possible to the patient’s natural teeth using a model of his bite.
What types of implants exist?
Although there is currently no uniformly accepted classification of dental implants, in practice they can be divided into several indicators.
Depending on the type of implantation, they can be divided into intraosseous or supraosseous. Periosteally placed implants, also called subperiosteal, are not fixed in the bone, but above it. They tend to give worse results, such as a lack of stability, so they are no longer placed.
In intraosseous implantation, as the name suggests, the implant is placed in the patient’s bone. They can be single-part (basal) and multicomponent. Basal dental implants are seldom used in modern practice because of their smooth surface, many possible complications, and low success rate make the process of osseointegration (acceptance of the implant by the body) impossible.
Multicomponent, also known as modern implants, have one part implant itself and a second part superstructure (abutment), which is placed above the dental implant and serves to retain the crown or bridge. The two parts are connected with a special screw. This allows easier and more precise placement even in hard-to-reach places.
When comparing dental implants, they can be short and conventional in size. Short implants, measuring between 6-9 mm, are very suitable for patients who do not have sufficient bone height. According to the available bone of the patient, the length of the implant can reach 14-16 mm. Because each patient has their own specific needs, implant manufacturers strive to offer a variety of sizes to find the best solution.
What are the benefits of a dental implant?
A dental implant can look as natural as possible and feel like your own tooth. This allows many patients to gain confidence and smile again without worrying about the appearance of their teeth.
Neighboring teeth are not damaged during placement, unlike other methods, such as bridges, where there is a 30% chance that the tooth used for fixation will break down in the next 5-7 years.
In addition, if one tooth is missing, displacement and change in the position of the adjacent ones are usually observed. These deformities can cause disorders of the temporomandibular joint, thanks to which we open and close the mouth, expressed in pain, hypersensitivity, speech problems, and others.
Due to their greater stability, implants do not cause difficulty in speaking, unlike dentures, which are not stable in the mouth.
Implants are also closest to the natural strength of the teeth, due to the biologically compatible strong materials from which they are made. This allows you to bite and chew food calmly as if you were with your natural teeth. And the materials used do not carry the risk of developing caries and decay, unlike natural teeth.
Implants protect the jaw bone. With the loss of your tooth, you lose not only its visible part but also the roots, which are part of the structure of the jaw. The implant fills in these missing roots, and the body forms new tissue around it. This good connection between the implant and the bone is extremely important because it stops the loss of bone mass in the jaw and helps it to be healthy.
Patients who have lost much of their teeth notice that the shape of the face changes and loosens, especially in the jawline, which makes a person look older. This leads to a reduction in self-esteem and depression.
While crowns and dentures have a certain life, usually 10-20 years, after which they must be replaced, properly placed dental implants have a lifetime warranty. You don’t have to worry about having to change them. Although the procedure may seem like a big initial investment, once they are well attached, you have no other costs. Unlike dentures, where you constantly have to buy different attachment gels or cleaning solutions.
Is there a suitable age to get a dental implant?
Although this is specific for each patient, recent studies in the field suggest that implants should be avoided in patients under 18 years old. The best long-term results are achieved in patients between 25-30 years.
How do I know if I can have implants?
Although the field of implantology is constantly working to improve and find solutions for more and more patients, some are not yet suitable for dental implants. People with a strong bone structure with good density are most suitable.
Prior to implant placement, an implantologist should be consulted to determine the density of the bone and, if necessary, to treat bone regeneration.
If, for example, you are taking certain drugs or medications that suppress the immune system, you will not be suitable for implants. In this case, other methods of restoring chewing efficiency may be considered.
Implant placement is a surgical procedure and as such carries certain risks. Damage to the area around the implant, fracture, or infection may occur. Very often in implant treatment in smoking patients, studies show greater bone loss around the implant than in non-smokers. In general, the risks are extremely low, and implant rejection, which worries patients, is in fact extremely rare.
Of course, if you are looking for implants to restore your smile, it is best to consult on the spot with our specialists. At VM Dent Clinic we always strive to ensure the peace of mind of our patients, as we are always trying to be well informed about all possibilities, stages of treatment, and patients know that they can count on us.